On Oct. 7, the ceremonial red, white and blue candles were lit for Ian Morton Fullerton when an Eagle Court of Honor was held in his honor at St. Paul Lutheran Church, the troop's charter organization.
Sister Joyce Wise of the Sisters of St. Joseph gave the blessing on behalf of Pastor Rolf Hedberg. She gave praises to Fullerton for being so "other centered" telling everyone in attendance that not only did he collect hundreds of cans of food for the homeless, but that he also spent a day down at the Loaves and Fishes Community Kitchen in Springfield to cook and serve a homemade pasta dinner for over 200 homeless people as well. After her accolades, she encouraged him "to keep focused" because she believed that "he could make a difference in this world."
Next, Fullerton rededicated himself to scouting and reaffirmed his allegiance to the Boy Scouts of America promising to be a good role model and leader for younger scouts.
Afterward, the sophomore and honor student at East Longmeadow High School ceremoniously pinned his beaming parents, Marybeth and Andrew Fullerton, and thanked them for all their years of support and encouragement in both Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting. The current troop senior patrol leader even thanked his younger sister, Emily, for supporting him along his Eagle journey as well.
Additionally, Fullerton recognized Assistant Scoutmaster Carole Keenan as his scouting mentor because she was "always there" for him. He went on to say that she literally and physically pushed him up Mount Washington when he was eleven years old to finish a trek that he never thought he would ever be able to complete.
Following the initial formalities, Fullerton was then presented with his Eagle Award by master of ceremonies, former BSA Western Massachusetts Council, Post Road District Executive, Timothy Steffin.
Following a booming round of applause and a standing ovation, special guest, Representative Brian M. Ashe briefly commented that, "judging by the large crowd of family, friends and fellow Scouts, Ian had to be a very well respected young man."
Accordingly, Rep. Ashe read aloud a letter from Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo commending Fullerton's great accomplishment.
Next, a special letter of recognition from the Civil War's Sons of Union Regiment was read aloud by a representative in period clothing. Then, more letters of recognition and congratulations from prominent BSA executives were read aloud by BSA Western Massachusetts Council, Post Road District Commissioner, Cheryl Issak.
Numerous citations from local, state and national leaders followed including those from the Selectmen's Office of East Longmeadow, Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Governor Deval Patrick, Congressman Richard E. Neal, President Barack Obama and former U.S. presidents: George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter.
Scoutmaster Robert Perkins then presented Fullerton with an American flag that had been flown over the U.S. Capitol Building courtesy of Congressman Neal as well as some very special gifts from the troop.
Afterward, Fullerton's proud father acknowledged Perkins and his wife Donna as well as all the adult leaders in the troop for all their dedicated years of service to Troop 275, adding that the Boy Scouting experience had not been just a great one for his son, but also for his whole family.
In summary, Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield said it best when he wrote in his letter to Fullerton that becoming an Eagle is "not so much an honor, but an award that which is diligently earned." And as a Cub Scout Arrow of Light recipient, a member of the BSA Western Massachusetts Council Honor Guard and a Brotherhood member of the Pocumtuc Lodge Order of the Arrow having completed 24 merit badges and "Powder Keg," a National Youth Leadership Training, Fullerton certainly exemplifies what being an Eagle Scout is all about. Therefore, it was indeed fitting when Fullerton added his name to Troop 275's prestigious Eagle plaque wall for everyone to see.
Finally, being only fifteen and having already attended many local, state, regional and even national Boy Scouting events and camps over the last nine years, such as Moses Scout Reservation, MassJam in Falmouth and the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, N.M., Fullerton said that he looked forward to participating in future Boy Scouting activities and trips with Troop 275 including "Ciganka," a sailing adventure aboard a 78 foot steel, gaff, rigged ketch scheduled to set sail in the southern Bahamas in July 2011.
If you would like more information about the Boy Scouts of America or how to join East Longmeadow Troop 275 where becoming an Eagle is a journey, not a destination, please call Scoutmaster Bob Perkins at 525-8419 or visit Troop 275 online at www.troop275.us.
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