Young man earns highest Scouting award
By Robin Scott
Gordon Lee Thetford will receive the coveted Eagle Scout Award on Sunday, November 8th at 3:00 p.m. during a ceremony at Rita Blanca Coliseum in Dalhart. Thetford, an 18-year-old high school senior, becomes a member of an elite group of “boys to men” that complete the highest ranking possible in the BSA.
Approximately four percent of all Scouts achieve the Eagle rank. More than a million young men have completed the requirements to earn the ranking since its inception in 1911. The ranking is awarded to Scouts who consistently perform to the best of their personal ability, exceeding expectations at every stage.
Requirements for the Eagle ranking include earning a required 21 merit badges for Star and Life Scout, nine of which are chosen by the applicant and the rest required within the ranking. Many Scouts begin their work on merit badges before starting Star and Life ranks. Applicants complete a service project that benefits their community, an organization or church. Service projects generally require 100 people hours to complete. Each applicant provides letters of recommendation from three people who know him well, have mentored the Scout and have first-hand knowledge of the Scout’s ability to follow the scout oath and law on a day-to-day basis.
Thetford earned 23 merit badges including badges in Camping, Music, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, Environmental Science, Emergency Preparedness, Wilderness Survival, Crime Prevention, Shotgun, Archery, Family Life, Citizenship in the World, Fingerprinting, Metalworking, Canoeing, Horsemanship, Rifle Shooting, Indian Lore, Swimming, Communications, and First Aid. For his Eagle project, Thetford organized the Rita Blanca Beautification Project, which included extensive cleanup and wildflower plantings around the Rita Blanca Lake area.
Thetford is a member of Troop Number 101, Lone Wolf District of Golden Spread Council, a group sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He has served his troop as Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, and Historian. He has also served Cub Scouts Pack 3046 as Den Chief for Webelos II. He currently serves as an adult leader with troop 101. A friendly and outgoing young man, Thetford noted, “My favorite subject of study is History. I really enjoy it.” Thetford’s home schooling has readied him to complete high school and move onto his aspirations of attending college. His two younger brothers, 14-year-old William and 12-year-old Jeffrey are also involved in the Scouts. Thetford stated, “William is almost ready to start on becoming an Eagle Scout.”
Thetford is the son of David and Alice Thetford of Dalhart, and the grandson of Jimmie and Judy Stacy of Rosanky, Texas and Gordon and Lynn Osborn of Amarillo. Family and friends are invited to the ceremony on Sunday and reception that follows. Thetford is the first Scout to achieve the Eagle ranking in Dalhart in the past 20 plus years. He stated that his brothers will likely break the trend of so many years in between Scouts that receive the title.