Elk Lake teen achieves Eagle Scout

Scout leader Danette Fuller slips the Eagle Scout award around her son Clark Fuller's neck, as his father Joe Fuller and Scout leader Jim Borosh, at right, look on, during a Court of Honor ceremony Dec. 23. STAFF PHOTOS/PAT FARNELLI

BY PAT FARNELLI

A Boy Scout from Troop 154 of Elk Lake achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, and was honored in a Court of Honor on Sunday, Dec. 23.

Clark Fuller, 17,  an Elk Lake senior, completed his Eagle Scout project and other criteria for the highest rank of Boy Scouts by maintaining and improving the cemetery in Dimock, and by building a maintenance shed there.

Fuller said that he has been a caretaker for the cemetery since he was a young boy, and that his father is the president of the cemetery association.

“I knew that the cemetery really needed a shed for maintenance, and the little one already there was not in good shape,” he said.

The shed was Fuller’s first major building project, although he has always enjoyed constructing things with his hands, like wood projects or rockets. He designed the building with the help of his grandfather, William Smarkusky.

His uncle, also named William Smarkusky, and cousins Matthew and David Smurkusky worked alongside Fuller at various stages of the building process, as did members of Troop 154.

Aout the Eagle award, Fuller said, “What pushed me to do it was my self determination that I want to be one of those Boy Scouts that did get the Eagle, and not one that dropped out or just never got around to it.”

A candle lighting ritual by the other scouts in the troop led up to the presentation of the award by Clark’s parents, Joe and Danette Fuller of Dimock Township.

There were at least five older Eagle Scouts present at the ceremony, as well as several recent Eagle Scouts.

Fuller is the second of his troop to achieve the Eagle Scout rank.

Jesse Borosh, also of Dimock, was the first. His father, Jim Borosh, is the leader of the troop, which meets on Monday nights at the Elk Lake American Legion hall.

Borosh said that when Clark bridged from Cub Scout to Boy Scouts, they were members of a different troop, and it wasn’t a good fit.

He and the Fullers discussed starting up their own troop, which they accomplished. The troop was recently honored for its growth in membership by Camp Tuscarora, where they spend a week in the summer as well as several shorter camping trips during the school year.

In addition to scouting, the Fullers are involved in 4H, and are leaders of the Dimock Community 4H group.

Borosh said that as a young scout, Fuller barely opened his mouth, but now is an eager, skilled speaker on many subjects, thanks to the many leadership programs he has been involved with through scouting, Camp Tuscarora and Camp Brule, of the 4-H program.

Fuller’s parents also spoke about their pride in their son’s persistence in completing his project, and his progress toward maturity as a young man.

After the Eagle Scout award was presented, Fuller’s father said that a very special gift had been obtained that he thought would have special meaning to Clark.

Several years ago, he had seen ads in Boy’s Life Magazine for a special limited edition, handcrafted Eagle Scout 22 gauge rifle, manufactured by the Henry Rifle Company.

Since Clark had always enjoyed shooting sports in both scouts and 4-H, this would be a gift he would likely value highly, the older Fuller thought.

As his son’s Eagle Scout completion date, and 18th birthday, drew nearer, Joe attempted to order the rifle, only to find that the factory where they are manufactured in New Jersey was flooded in the recent storm. After an intense search, another source of the gun was found- a wholesaler in Texas.

Fuller was able to present the detailed rifle to his son during the ceremony, where it was admired by all who attended. It features a walnut stock and octogon barrel, with intricate engravings about boy scouting, some embossed in gold, and the Boy Scout emblem.

“It was a complete surprise, and a very great gift, and I sure enjoy having it,” the new Eagle said afterward.