Teen receives rank of Eagle Scout

— A local teen recently received the highest level recognition from the Boys Scouts of America (BSA) Tall Pines Council. Gregory Payter, 18, attained the rank of Eagle Scout and will be officially honored with an Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony, scheduled for April 2011.

On Oct. 22, Payter completed his Eagle Scout Board of Review. His paperwork was forwarded on to the BSA headquarters where final national approval was recognized as well.

Payter, who is home-schooled, is in Troop 316 which meets at New Creation Church of God in Flint Twp. Scouting runs in the family. His father, Greg Payter, is the Scoutmaster for the troop and his mother, Laura Payter, is on the Troop Committee and coordinates group activities.

To attain the rank of Eagle Scout, Payter completed his Eagle Project at the Flint Eastside Mission in May. The project consisted of installing brick pavers in four, separate areas and included digging the foundations, spreading and compacting crushed limestone, creating a bus stop pad, assembling a bench, putting down mulch and flowers.

“The project took over 200 hours and greatly improved safety and enhanced the outside appearances,” said Laura.

Payter’s achievement of Eagle Scout comes at a special time. This year marks the 100th Anniversary of Boys Scout of America. Additionally, only five percent of all scouts attain the Eagle rank.

In the summer of 2009, Payter went on a 12-day wilderness backpack trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. “He walked 120 miles carrying 45 pounds of gear and climbed to an elevation of 12,441 feet,” she said. “He trained and conditioned for six months prior to going. The Scout Motto is “Be Prepared.”

Along with the motto, another quote that holds special meaning to the scouting program is Isaiah 40:31 from the Bible
said Laura. The scripture reads: “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

“Scouts sometimes refer to this scripture from the Bible
since an eagle is mentioned,” she said. “The 12th point of the Scout Law is a scout is reverent. In 1993 when our scout troop began, the number 316 was chosen from the Bible
— John 3:16 — ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ The Scout Law — a scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. There’s also a Scout Oath or Promise, Motto and Slogan and the Outdoor Code.”

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