Alamance County resident Zachery Whitney received a special distinction this past weekend, as he was presented with the Boy Scouts of America Venturing Scout Summit Award.
Whitney, an Eagle Scout for over five years, becomes one of only a handful of Boy Scouts in the state of North Carolina to receive this special honor.
Whitney received his Eagle Scout award back in 2013, raising money to help construct a 10 foot by 10 foot shed for Mebane’s Agape Baptist Church. He currently is a member of Venture Scout Crew 144 in Burlington.
“The Summit Award is similar to the Eagle Scout Award, except it is for the older Venture Scouts,” explained Mike Brumble, retired Eastern Alamance High School teacher and Crew 4144 Assistant Advisor. “The Old North Council serves several counties - Alamance, Guilford, Person, Caswell, and Randolph. He (Whitney) is the first Scout from the Old North Council to earn this award.”
Brumble, who served at Eastern High School for 35 years as a popular and well-respected drafting and carpentry instructor, has been an Eagle Scout since 1973. He has participated in the local Boy Scouts for decades, assisting with the regional summer camp in Yanceyville and with local groups.
On the afternoon of March 23, a group of Whitney’s Scout leaders, parents Scott and Terri Whitney, other family members, friends, and instructors made their way to Burlington’s Glen Hope Baptist Church for a special session of the Boy Scouts Council of Honor. Brumble served as Master of Ceremonies.
“To earn the highest commission award in scouting, a Venture Scout must spend a great deal of time and effort. Therefore, the occasion of recognizing this accomplishment should be something very special,” Brumble said as he opened the special Council of Honor session of the Boy Scouts to recognize Whitney.
“Zachery Whitney, I would like to be among the first to congratulate you on receiving the first Summit Award for the Old North State Council,” Brumble added. “If my research is correct, you are the fourth recipient in the state of North Carolina. And you’re only one of 25 in the entire Southeast region. Congratulations.”
The Summit Award is the fourth and final step in the process of Venturing, which starts with the Venturing Award, leading to the Discovery Award, and then the Pathfinder Award. The process of receiving the Summit Award took Whitney on an extensive series of adventures and leadership experiences.
In the ceremony, a series of four candles were lit on each side to symbolize the four steps of accomplishment for Whitney in receiving the Summit Award.
“When a youth becomes a Scout, there is instilled with him something that we call the spirit of scouting,” Brumble said. “The candle lit here before you represents that spirit. Because the spirit of scouting embodies the principal of the Scout oath, it is the shining beacon of inspiration. Alone, this one light may seem feeble. But when multiplied by the more than three million youth that are in scouting, it becomes a very powerful light.”
A proclamation was read on behalf of Burlington Mayor Ian Baltutis recognizing Whitney’s special accomplishments. There was also a representative of the United State Marine Corps onhand to give Whitney a proclamation honoring his achievement.
“This certificate of recognition is hereby presented to Zachery Whitney, recipient of the BSA Venturing Summit Award,” the proclamation from the City of Burlington read. “The Boy Scouts of America is a vital force in the development of our youth through its many programs, which encourages the ability of its members to do things for themselves, and especially others. Scouts are encouraged to participate in the Venturing program following the completion of their Eagle Scout award. Zachery has been recognized for his completion of the Summit Award, which is Venturing’s highest honor. He is the first recipient of the award in the Old North State Council, and in the Piedmont region of North Carolina.”
“One of the major objectives of the Venturing program is to develop leadership skills, and mentor others around them. Venturing is intended to help strengthen the community by designing and leading a service project to benefit others. Zachery has not only proven himself to be an outstanding member of the Boy Scouts of America. His achievement of the Summit Award displays his commitment to leadership, and is a distinction that will follow him throughout life, and will be a beacon to others of the leadership qualities and commitment that this young man has shown.”
“On behalf of the City of Burlington, this certificate of recognition does by here recognize Zachery Whitney as worthy of the highest of honors, and encourages him to continue his commitment to excellence.”
Whitney also received a commemorative pin from the City of Burlington.
“I’m just going to keep it short and sweet,” Whitney said. “Thank you all for being here. Special thanks to everyone who put this together. Special thanks to the Marine Corps for being here today. That’s all I’ve got.”