Billy Gushue, of Boy Scout Troop 555 of Jim Thorpe, has been in Scouting since he was just 6 years old. Now, at the age of 14, he has achieved its highest rank.

Family, friends, and fellow Scouts gathered at Blue Mountain Ski Area in Palmerton last Sunday to take part in an Eagle Scout Court of Honor where Billy was elevated to Eagle Scout.

Billy's Eagle Scout Project was to restore the snack bar at Memorial Park in Jim Thorpe. He acknowledged the help of family, friends, fellow Scouts, and park manager Linda Carlson for their help. The work to restore the snack bar included cleaning out the area, doing carpentry, plumbing and electrical work, removing graffiti, and repainting.

Jim Thorpe Borough Council Chairman John Maguire thanked Billy on behalf of the borough and Memorial Park. Accompanying him to the Court of Honor were council members Justin Yaich and Jeremy Melber, as well as park manager Carlson.

The rank of Eagle Scout is reached by only two out of every 100 boys in Scouting, and many value their Eagle Scout badge above even a college degree.

Fellow Eagle Scout Adam Dachowicz of Troop 555, read the Eagle Challenge, which says that "becoming an Eagle Scout is a great accomplishment; being an Eagle Scout is a great responsibility. The Scout Oath and Scout Law take on new meaning; the motto and slogan take on new urgency."

He went on to say that the Eagle Scout now has new obligations, which are: "First, to live with honor; second, to be loyal; third, to be courageous; fourth, to serve others; and finally, to have vision."

Assistant Scoutmaster Chuck Kimmel read the Eagle Scout Charge, which in part, states that "You are here to make the future greater" and to "build America on the solid foundations of clean living, honest work, unselfish citizenship, and reverence for God and whatever others say or may do."

Scoutmaster Ray Attewell made the presentation of the Eagle Scout Award to Billy, who was flanked by his mother and grandparents. His mother pinned the Eagle Badge on his uniform.

Billy pinned miniature badges on his mother, Bethann Sheckler, and grandmother, Diane Gushue, in recognition of their love, encouragement, faith, and trust in his future.

Noting that Billy's grandfather Bill Gushue has been the source of much advice and guidance along the Eagle trail, Scoutmaster Attewell asked his grandfather to present the Eagle Scout certificate to him. In return, Billy presented his grandfather with an Eagle Lapel pin to proudly wear in Billy's honor.

Special presentations were made from Congressman Paul Kanjorski; Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Keith McCall; the Senate of Pennsylvania; the BPOE (Elks); Carbon County Commissioners Bill O'Gurek, Charles Getz, and Wayne Nothstein; and the U.S. Submarine Veterans.

Billy also received a flag that was flown over the United States Capitol at the request of Congressman Paul Kanjorski.

At the conclusion of this moving program, Eagle Scout Billy Gushue, fellow Scouts and Scoutleaders, family and friends all joined together for a bountiful meal.