Palmerton Eagle Scout installs park benches for senior citizens
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Robert Keyser (standing) speaks at his Eagle Court of Honor held recently at the Stoney Ridge P.A.R.C. in Lower Towamensing Township. Pictured behind Keyser are (l-r) Charles Sterling, senior patrol leader of Troop 20 and second class rank, Randy Ashner, assistant scoutmaster, James Schneck, scoutmaster, Jesse Schneck, life scout rank, member of Order of the Arrow, Master of Ceremonies, and Brent Green, life scout rank.
Out of every 100 boy scouts, only two attain Eagle Scout status.
Despite those bleak odds, nothing could curtail Robert Keyser's quest to achieve the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America.
Recently, fellow Palmerton Boy Scout Troop 20 members, family and friends attended Keyser's Eagle Scout of Honor held at the Stoney Ridge P.A.R.C. in Lower Towamensing Township.
In order to achieve the Eagle Award, a scout must earn 21 merit badges, as 11 badges are required by the Boy Scouts of America. In addition, they must complete a service project.
The main focus of the project is to show that the future Eagle Scout has leadership abilities and can take charge in setting up and completing a project.
For his project, Keyser raised nearly $1,100 to construct 15 benches around the park so senior citizens wouldn't have to climb bleachers. In addition, the benches are plastic, so they can easily be moved if someone wants to sit elsewhere in the park.
Keyser said he began his project May 14, 2009, and completed it on Feb. 17. All told, he said the project took 106 hours, which also includes help he received from others who assisted with the project.
After he was presented with his Eagle Award, Keyser was given the Eagle Scout Charge, or actual oath of responsibility, in which he was told to live with honor, show loyalty, be courageous, and be cheerful.
Scoutmaster James Schneck and assistant scoutmaster Randy Ashner decided to recount their memories of Keyser.
Schneck said Keyser was a "great asset" to the troop.
"What I'll remember most about Robert is his leadership ability and willingness to help other kids," Schneck said. "It was just a pleasure to have people like this."
Ashner said Keyser's personality and ability to work well with others always shined through.
"Robert was a real pleasure to the troop," Ashner said. "He always had a smiling face."
Keyser thanked everyone who made his day possible, and said scouting will always remain near and dear to his heart.
"Scouting has been fun," Keyser said. "I enjoyed it."