Dylan Smith, of Lansford, recently attained the rank of Eagle Scout. His Court of Honor was held at St. John's UCC in Tamaqua.
Smith has been a member of the Boy Scouts of America for 10 years and becoming an Eagle is one of many distinctions and honors that he has earned over his 10 years with the Boy Scouts.
"He started with a troop in Lansford, that wasn't successful," said his grandmother, Donna Smith. "He came home from school one day, and told me that he wanted to be a Boy Scout."
Smith joined the Tamaqua Troop 777. Leader George Wolfe recounted how shortly after Smith joined the troop, he became the senior patrol leader.
"He was the first one of Troop 777," said Wolfe, of the then-13-year-old Smith. "He really took over and really did an excellent job. He took those younger kids and did an excellent job as their leader."
Troop leader Scott Winterburn also spoke highly of Smith. "He has been a great asset to the troop. He's done anything we asked. He's a great model for the younger kids. He hasn't taken any shortcuts. He just epitomizes what an Eagle Scout stands for."
"This has really been a fun journey for me," said Smith. "I had a lot of people helping me along the way."
His biggest supporters have been his grandparents, Ed and Donna Smith. "I'm just so proud of him," said Ed Smith.
During his Eagle Ceremony, Smith also recognized his former teacher, Jake Miller, with a mentor award.
"He really has been a great role model to me," said Smith, who recounted how Miller got him interested in weight lifting, including early morning work-outs, before school. "He helped me mature and taught me discipline," said Smith.
Although he had to travel from Lansford to Tamaqua to be a member of a Boy Scout troop, Smith chose to return to his hometown for his Eagle Project, which was building two picnic areas at the Lansford Community Pool complex.
"I really wanted to do something to help my own community," he said. Constructing the picnic tables, clearing the site, and preparing the picnic areas took Smith the better part of a year to complete.
Smith received citations from US Congressman Paul Kanjorski, State Senator David Argall, State Representative Keith McCall, Tamaqua Mayor Christian Morrison, the Hawk Mountain Boy Scout Council, the National Lutheran Association of Scouting, and the Tamaqua Elks, which was presented by Bob Evans. State Representative Jerry Knowles also attended the event and presented Smith with a citation as well.