Gunner McOmie received his Eagle Scout Award at a Court of Honor. He is a member of Troop 2082 sponsored by the Mesquite 2nd Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His Eagle project was making emergency kits in 5-gallon buckets for Virgin Valley Elementary School. They contained items (toilet paper, wipes, dust masks, gloves, duct tape and plastic and coloring books) that would help the teacher in case of any emergency when the class would be locked in their room. He would like to thank ACE Hardware for the donation of the buckets and other businesses that donated the other items. Gunner is in 8th grade at Hughes Middle school and is on the baseball and basketball teams. He is the son of Ian and Lara McOmie.
Mark McOmie, Gunner’s grandfather, spoke about scouting in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. ‘” It was Pres. Joseph F. Smith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who said that the young men needed not only opportunities for spiritual growth but they needed to have activities to teach them skills for life.” McCombie said that Baden Powell provided the scouting program to teach boys service, responsibility and good character.” McOmie continued, “You may have head the story that William Boyce brought scouting to America after a scout in England provided directions for him. However, the first scout troop in Utah was formed in 1908 with 50 rowdy boys. In 1913 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chartered troops with the Boy Scouts of America. The Scout Oath and law teaches traits of manhood and character. Earning the rank of Eagle is a rare achievement and only 6.5% of boys who start scouting complete the rank of Eagle. The Eagle reminds us of integrity, and freedom, and is a symbol of loyalty, courage and faith. An Eagle exemplifies the very best of what we want our young men to be. The Eagle Scout stands for what is right. If all people lived by the scout oath and law this world would be a better place,” he concluded.
Brian Haviland, District Chairman of Virgin River Boy Scouts of America, opened the Nation Boy Scout Court of Honor and formed the Eagle’s Nest by asking all those in the audience who had received this Eagle Award to come forward and sit together. “These are men you can look up to as great examples of service to our community, he said.
The Eagle Scout charge was given by Lee Bracken, Gunner’s grandfather, who told Gunner, “This is not the end but the beginning. We recognize your accomplishments but these have all been for a purpose beyond your own edification. You learned these skills so that you could put them to use in the service of others. This is a qualification to enter a fellowship of those who have pledged themselves to the service of others. I charge you to do your duty to your country with the loyalty and courage that you were taught as a scout. Be loyal to the principles of freedom, democracy, civility, peace, tolerance, justice and the rule of law. Be brave and stand for these principles when they are threatened. Stand against oppression, fear, cynicism, intolerance, bigotry and hate of all kinds. I charge you to use the skills and the knowledge that you have gained to help other people at all times. Continue to do a good turn daily. Bracken concluded with, “I charge you to keep yourself physically strong, mentally and intellectually sharp and morally upright that you may always be prepared to help others. Stay curious. Stay honest and stay humble.”
Gunner presented his parents with pins to recognize their help in achieving this rank of Eagle Scout. Gunner’s mother pinned the Eagle emblem and ribbon on his scout shirt. Gunner presented his mentor pin to Randy Laub, his scoutmaster, for his encouragement to complete his rank. Gunner received a pocket knife engraved with ‘Eagle Scout’ from Brian Haviland.