Wilkes becomes Eagle Scout

George Wilkes became an Eagle Scout March 31. At the ceremony, from left, are Francis O'Connor, Chris Herbert, mom Colleen Wilkes, Eagle recipient George L.S. Wilkes, Eleanor Dohnalek, George Wilkes, Rich Cottrell and Kathryn Fuller.

BY HELEN B. FOSTER

Correspondnet

The Eagle Scout Court of Honor for George L.S. Wilkes was held on Saturday, March 31, at the Lanesboro Community Church.

It was an overflow crowd for this occasion that saw both family and friends taking part for this milestone in the life of a very deserving young man.

A member of Troop 81, Susquehanna, Wilkes has not only completed the requirements for the Boy Scout’s highest honor but also holds a Black Belt in karate, played football for the Sabers and has started on his career path by joining the U.S. Navy. G

His  training for what he anticipates will  lead to serving with the Navy Seal team has already begun. His Eagle Scout project was the construction of a foot bridge at the Florence Shelly Preserve.

Master of Ceremonies Francis O’Connor introduced Kathryn Fuller of Troop 89 and an Eagle Scout Mother, who gave George the Eagle Scout Charge. The Eagle Scout badge was presented by Wilkes’ leaders- Rich Cottrell, Chris Herbert and Marty Seidel.

The honoree presented his parents their pins that will show the world they have a son who through hard work and dedication has attained the rank of Eagle Scout.

“Mom and Dad have been a part of my scouting life through thick and thin with good advice,” he said.

Mentor pins were presented by George to Eleanor Dohnalek, Chris Herbert and Rick Cottrell. As George made the presentations he said these were people who had been there for him: Dohnalek for the greater part of his life and was someone he could always count on; Herbert and Cottrell were there for his scouting years, the ones  who encouraged him to continue on the path to Eagle Scout.

The presentation of congratulatory letters and citations began with Rep. Sandra Major who called the Eagle Scout a “great young man who has given service to others.”

County Commissioner MaryAnn Warren read an appropriate poem and letters from President and Mrs. Obama, Vice-president Joe Biden and former president Bill Clinton.

O’Connor  handled the congratulations from Gov. Tom Corbett and State Sen. Lisa Baker.

Susquehanna Superintendent Bronson Stone referred to Wilkes as a role model for other students and he said he knows he has a bright future. “I have never met a more polite young  man,” he added.

Karri Lynn Wilder presented a commemorative plate that had belonged to Ira Reynolds, the area resident with the longest continuous membership in Boy Scouts of America.

Stone Bridge Lions Club, sponsor of Troop 81, was represented by President Peter Niven, who said George made the club members very proud and he thanked the family for allowing the club to be a part of the ceremony.

Prior to the Eagle Scout recipient giving his remarks, his parents George and Colleen, read the book,”All the Places You Will Go” by Dr. Seuss.

The younger Wilkes said scouting has taught him to be the best he can be and it has taken him 12 years of work to be where he is today, hours and hours in the woods and miles and miles of hiking.

He said that Boy Scouting had been the route to his joining the Navy and to start a career, to once again be the best he can be, teaching him to be a team player and to learn commitment.

Others taking part in the ceremony were the Rev. Carl Batzel, pastor of Lanesboro Community Church; cousins Michaela and Christine Zeck; Carol Batzel;  and Jeff Hall on the Bagpipes.