Earning an Eagle Scout Award is a reason for pride and celebration for the Scouts parents. Imagine that pride multiplied by three.
The Kunes family, of Bellefonte, has attended three ceremonies honoring each of their three sons in turn.
Tyler, 24, earned his Eagle Scout Award in 2006. He graduated from Penn State and is a software engineer with AgIntegrated in State College.
Ryan, 19, a sophomore at Pennsylvania College of Technology studying forestry, received his Eagle Scout Award in 2009.
In July 17-year-old Wyatt attended his own award ceremony. Wyatt is a freshman at Penn State in the College of Information Sciences and Technology.
Cindy Kunes was more than happy to share the story of her sons upward advancement.
The boys all began scouting at age 7 as Tiger Cubs. Years of Scouting activities followed in which both parents were involved.
Dad Mike became a leader and is the Scoutmaster for Troop 370 in Bellefonte. Mom Cindy was a den leader in Cub Scouts and later became a committee member in both Cub and Boy Scouts. She continues in those roles.
Some of the steps that Wyatt took to come this far include:
Boy Scout information: Joined Boy Scouts and earned Scout Rank on June 7, 2005. Proceeded to earn Tenderfoot, Second Class Rank, First Class Rank, Star Rank and Life Rank on July 20, 2007.
Merit badges earned: Archery, Art, Camping, Canoeing, Citizen in Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Science, Family Life, Fingerprinting, First Aid, Fish and Wildlife Management, Fishing, Nuclear Science, Oceanography, Person Fitness, Personal Management, Rifle Shooting, Rowing, Shotgun Shooting, Skating, Swimming, Wood Carving.
Achievements/awards: Snorkeling, Scuba, Kayaking, Duty to God, Den Chief Service Award, Elected into Order of the Arrow.
Leadership positions in the troop: Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Junior Assistant Scoutmaster.
I have included these lists because I am certain that many people may not have a grasp of just how much work and time goes into an award such as the one recently earned by Wyatt Kunes. I have included the bare bones of the requirements.
As the Kunes family shared, Scouting is so much more than what the young men go through. The friendship, fellowship and community activity of entire families is involved. All these things drive the 5 percent of scouts who endeavor to achieve Eagle Status.
The Eagle Scout Award is the beginning of another phase of life for these young men. The charge to an Eagle includes responsibility to live with honor, be loyal, courageous, cheerful, and to be of service to others, including guiding those scouts coming behind in their journeys.
For his Eagle Scout project, Wyatt provided leadership, planning and coordination in creating a natural area in Walker Township Park.
The 24,000-square-foot rocky hillside is now adorned with trees, shrubs, flowers, planters, and benches. Township supervisors and local businesses supplied goods and services and worked with Wyatt.
Wyatt did some of the labor himself. Hours totaled: 349.
Eleven other Eagle Scouts participated in Kunes Court of Honor, including U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson and Centre County Commissioner Steve Dershem, who offered remarks.
The family members expressed their gratitude to those individuals and to state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, Sheriff Denny Nau, and Jack Bechdel (retired Marine and representative of the Nittany Leathernecks), who routinely take time to attend Eagle Scout ceremonies.
Connie Cousins writes a weekly column about the Bellefonte area. Send her news at firstname.lastname@example.org.