by Christine Mahorney
A lot of people have fond childhood memories of a Boy or Girl Scouts experience – selling cookies, earning badges, building a derby car.
For many, though, that’s where the Scout experience ends, especially as earning merit badges becomes more and more challenging.
That wasn’t the case for Middle Park senior Camden Burns. He persevered through a decade of challenges to achieve scouting’s highest honor – becoming an Eagle Scout.
In order to even qualify as an Eagle, a scout must earn at least 21 merit badges, including First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Safety, Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving, Environmental Science, Personal Management, Personal Fitness or Swimming or Sports and Camping.
For Camden, the journey to become an Eagle scout included dedicating a full year-and-a-half to the process, and building a water fowl blind in the State wildlife area in Parshall. Before building the blind, Camden worked with Ben Gallowich at Colorado Parks and Wildlife to get approval and identify site location.
“My biggest take away from this project is that it takes a lot of people to accomplish great things,” Camden said.
“Everyone in my scout troop and my family helped build the water fowl blind – from work days assembling at my house, to assembly on site and painting.” He added that he’d like to issue special thanks to those who donated supplies for the project: West End Rental, Northwest Ranch Supply, Colorado Timber Resource Center and Granby Dental.
Camden became a scout in second grade, as a Cub in 2011, he received the Arrow of Light award, which is the highest award a Cub scout can earn. During the 10 years he’s spent in scouts, he most enjoyed the many camp outs, shooting sports, and the time spent with the Troop 605 members.
Scout Master Jordan Ball had kind words to say about Camden’s dedication to the Eagle process.
“It’s a challenging, but rewarding experience. Working so hard and being so diligent is a hard thing to do, but (the Eagle) is a rewarding merit badge to receive,” Jordan said.
Upon receiving his Eagle designation, Camden gave his mentor pin to Lou Arnold. A mentor pin is an honor that a new Eagle bestows on the person who helped lead them through their journey to become an Eagle scout.
“Lou has been with me from Cub scouts all through completion of my Eagle scout project. He called me every week to see where we were at and what I needed to accomplish to finish my project,” Camden said. “Without Lou Arnold, I would not have gotten this far in scouting”.
Camden’s grandparents also attended the ceremony. His Grandpa Noel Burns placed Camden’s Eagle Scout neckerchief and slide, and presented him with an 1885 silver dollar — a tradition he’s shared with each of his grandsons who have received their Eagle Award.
Camden’s brother Britton is also close to receiving his Eagle award, along with fellow troop member Ayden Hickam. He is the son of Andrew and Michelle Burns.
Grand County currently has two active Boy Scout troops. To learn more about joining, call Jordan Ball at 307-677-2714.
by Christine Mahorney