STEVENSVILLE — Troop 1631, sponsored by Christ Episcopal Church in Stevensville, recently hosted an Eagle Court of Honor for Brice O’Malley. The Eagle Scout Award is the highest rank a Scout can earn. It is considered a remarkable accomplishment, as only about 4% of boys who ever join Boy Scouts of America, actually achieve the honor. It is even worth noting it, especially on college and job applications, and the U.S. military awards all Eagle Scouts a higher pay grade upon graduating from basic training.

The word perseverance is key in earning the Eagle Award. A Scout must earn and progress through five different Scout ranks: Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class, Star and Life, before being able to officially start working toward Eagle. On the way to earning the Eagle, a Scout must hold several different leadership roles within his troop, earn a minimum of 21 merit badges (11 of those Eagle required merit badges), and then, plan, and demonstrate leadership in fulfilling an Eagle Scout Service Project that benefits the community. The project must be pre-approved by the local Boy Scout Council before actual work begins.

Brice’s project was to build a huge fire pit for a campsite at Camp Wright in Stevensville.

The following is a list of all the merit badges Brice earned: Mammal Study, *Swimming, Canoeing, Electricity, Fire Safety, Crime Prevention, Fingerprinting, Wilderness Survival, *First Aid, Fish & Wildlife Mgmt., *Camping, Railroading, American Heritage, *Citizenship in the Community, Soil and Water Conservation, *Personal Fitness, Rifle Shooting, *Cooking, *Environmental Science, Shotgun Shooting, Pet Care, Dog Care, Collections, *Emergency Preparedness, *Communications, Weather, *Lifesaving, Archery, Fly Fishing, Fishing, *Personal Management, Architecture, Welding, *Citizenship in the Nation, Pottery, Kayaking, *Family Life, *Citizenship in the World. (* denotes Eagle required badges). Brice earned 38 total merit badges. Many more than needed for his Eagle rank.

Brice said, “The most challenging merit badge was completing Citizenship in the World. It took me a year and half to get it done. The badge that was most fun, was, of course, Fishing merit badge. I love fishing and I waited until that was one of the last merit badges I earned. I waited because I knew I’d love doing it, and it was fun!”

Of all Brice’s Scouting experiences — and he had many different ones — he said, “The one that I remember the most was participating with our troop, posting luminaries at the Antietam National Battlefield ceremony, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, which is held once a year. When we finished, it was very memorable and emotionally moving to be part of it honoring all those who died there during the Civil War at that famed location. Our troop did it several years in a row, and we looked forward to it.”

Brice is the son of proud parents David and Carolyn O’Malley of Stevensville.

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