Christ Church in Walnutport was filled to standing room only on Feb. 6 as Abel Boyer became an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouting.
The ceremony began with the posting of the colors and the singing of "God Bless America."
In the invocation the Rev. Brian Haas asked God to inspire others to take the road to Eagle.
American Legion Commander Gordon Giannotti welcomed everyone to the "super bowl of scouting," and said it was a big day not only for Abel Boyer but for his parents.
As Chris Craig told of the ideals of scouting a candle was lit for each: a scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. A white candle represented the duty to God and country, blue for duty to other people, and red for duty to self.
Council representative Lee Schleicher congratulated the troop, leaders and families. Troop 66 was chartered to Allen O. Delke Post 66 on Dec. 24, 1924, and is the oldest troop in the Lehigh Valley. As a representative of Minsi Trails Council he declared the Court of Honor convened.
Robert Fenstermaker, master of ceremonies, recognized Eagles from previous years. There are 63 from Troop 66 beginning in 1934. Those who were present were invited, along with a Gold Award Girl Scout, to sit in the Eagle's Nest (the choir seats). All parents of Eagle Scouts were invited to stand to be recognized because "they were behind these scouts."
The Voice of the Eagle said his strength has encouraged men through the ages. The eagle was worshiped for his majestic beauty. American Indians revered the eagle. On June 20, 1782 it became the symbol of our new country, and several states have eagles on their state flags.
When Apollo headed for the moon the eagle was chosen as its symbol and the first words were "The Eagle has landed."
Maurer sang "On Eagles' Wings" which included the words "We raise you up on eagles' wings. … Make you shine like the sun and hold you in the palm of His hand."
Joseph Heiczinger told of Boyer's progress toward Eagle. Boyer lives in Lehigh Furnace and attends Northern Lehigh High School. He participates in hunting, fishing, spotting deer, ATV driving, campfires, and other conservation activities. He is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Safari Club Int'l, National Rifle Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Federation, Camp Compass, and Ducks Unlimited. He is active in a foundation in his brother's memory, the Asher F. Boyer Foundation for Future Education.
Robert Churetta told of the examination for Eagle. The review board inquired about his scout spirit; participation in scouting, school and community; leadership, proficiency in the requirements and the 27 merit badges he earned.
The Voice of the Eagle said he must meet the obligations of living with honor, loyalty, courage and service.
To the question if he was willing to accept all the requirements of an Eagle Scout, he loudly and clearly said "Yes."
Craig Brady, in his charge, said he was a fourth generation Boy Scout and third generation Eagle. "You follow a great and honorable tradition. Your position is one of honor and responsibility. Living up to your obligation brings honor to self and other scouts."
Maurer presented Abel's parents, Debbie and Allan Boyer. His mother pinned the Eagle badge on Abel's shirt for which she received a hug and a kiss. In turn, he gave her the Mother's pin.
His father gave him a certificate and received a pin in return. Allan guided him along the Eagle trail.
Brady placed a blue neckerchief around Boyer's neck and presented the Eagle award. The scout neckerchief was to be replaced with a white one from the American Legion which was presented by Giannotti and George Burke. They also enrolled him in the National Eagle Scout Association.
Dan Kunkle, director of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, said, "Good kids don't happen by accident, Allan and Debbie didn't teach him but showed him."
As a Life Scout project Abel and his father planted 20 American chestnut trees in the Lehigh Gap. For Eagle, Abel also had a project at the nature center. He placed signs and benches along a trail.
The Legion gave Boyer a Good Citizen Award signed by Giannotti and Adjutant Mark Queen. Other awards were from Julie Harhart, a citation from herself and the state House of Representatives; State Senator David Argall, a citation from the Senate; Congressman Charles Dent, a citation from the House of Representatives and a flag that flew over the Capitol; Slatington Mayor Walter Niederneter, a proclamation; and the Rev. Brian Haas, the God and Country Award.
Maurer in the closing said Boyer should be mindful of what the candles represent. Boyer extinguished them one by one but was told to take the last one to light his path into the future.
Chris Hoffman led the Scout's Benediction.