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Local Scouts Advance in Rank, are Recognized for Accomplishments in May 2023 Court of Honor

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Scouts BSA Girl Troop 990 held a Court of Honor on May 28, 2023, to recognize the accomplishments of its Scouts. Courts of Honors are held to recognize Scouts for their accomplishments after Scouts have learned, are tested, and are reviewed by the Troop Committee made up of adults from the community. Families, friends, and community leaders gathered to recognize the Scouts and hear updates on their accomplishments and future plans. It was evident the Troop, Patrols, and individual Scouts at Troop 990 had come a long way since the last Court of Honor held in January 2023. Their hard work is in keeping with the finest traditions of Scouting and reflects great credit upon themselves, and their community, families, Troop, and Patrols.

Naomi Clem led the ceremony as Master of Ceremony and welcomed the families and guests of the Scouts. She also introduced special guests National Junior Honor Society Advisor Mrs. Lewis and 8th
Grade US History teacher, Mrs. Willet from Oliver Middle School. Mark Usrey, (Troop Committee Chair) led the opening prayer. The JEDI Monkey Patrol served as the Color Guard and was comprised of Kayla Scovill (Patrol Leader), Keturah Warden (Assistant Patrol Leader), Rylin Bland, Anna Duarte, Annabelle Wander, and was headed by Olivia Pound (Patrol Leader Elect). Together, they presented the colors and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Investiture of New Scouts

Scoutmaster Kristin Warden, and Committee Chair Mark Usrey welcomed new Scouts and conducted the investiture ceremony for Kate Brown, Anna Duarte, Annabelle Wander, and Katherine Warden. In the presence of guests and their fellow Scouts, they were asked to commit themselves to a way of life that is dedicated to living out the three parts of the Scout Oath: Duty to God, Country, and Others. After reflection and a challenge from Mrs. Warden to live out the Scout Oath and Law in every area of their lives, the Scouts pledged to keep the promise and recited the Scout Oath. Upon formally welcoming the girls to the Troop and the brotherhood/sisterhood of Scouting, the girls recited a familiar Scout closing that has been used for over a hundred years and frequently used to close Troop 990 meetings, “A Scout is a friend to all and a brother or sister to every other Scout. So said Baden-Powell (the Founder of the Scouting Movement), and so say we all.”

Parents were then given a pin to put on a ribbon made for the parents of each of the Scouts, thanking them for the support in their lives of their Scouts and the inevitable resulting support of every other person associated with the Troop as a result of their contribution to the future citizens and leaders.

Presentation of Awards

Naomi Clem transitioned the Court of Honor to the presentation of awards. She explained the Court of Honor is a special occasion and highlights the hard work that the Scouts have performed to lead this Troop and to develop the character and skills they need in order to be prepared for the rest of their life. She explained the importance of recognizing each Scout’s growth and achievement. Naomi highlighted the process each scout goes through to earn awards and ranks, including that each scout spends much time learning and practicing the skills required for each rank before they are tested and that once the skills are mastered and the scout has been tested, each Scout appears before a Board of Review where they share the things they are learning and perspectives they are developing. She then called Adelaide Warden (Senior Patrol Leader) to present awards earned by the Scouts.

The individual awards presented by the Senior Patrol Leader were:

  • The Cyber Chip Award
    is given for completion of training for online and social media safety. The BSA teamed up with content expert NetSmartz®, part of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children® and training experts from many law enforcement agencies. Topics included in this training are cyberbullying, cell phone use, texting, blogging, gaming, and identity theft. Madison Keener, Abby Lyon, Miley Smith, and Katherine Warden earned this award.
  • The Totin’ Chip Award
    required completion of training for safe handling and care of saws, axes, and knives. Since our Troop frequently cooks over an open fire, conducts service projects in the community, and will need these skills in the upkeep and maintenance of personal and community property. Anna Duarte, Abby Lyon, Olivia Pound, and Kayla Scovill earned this award.
  • The Firem’n Chit Award is earned after completing training in fire safety. With this award, Scouts have earned the privilege to carry fire-lighting devices (matches, lighters, etc.) in order to build campfires. The Scout must demonstrate an understanding of the responsibilities for fire safety, the Outdoor Code, Leave No Trace Principles, and the Guide to Safe Scouting, all of which equip the Scout with knowledge that is relevant within and outside of Scouting. Rylin Bland, Abby Lyon, Olivia Pound, and Kayla Scovill earned this award.
  • The Interpreter Strip
    is a special strip worn by Scouts that exhibits a knowledge of a foreign language. Any member who speaks a specific foreign language, demonstrates knowledge by carrying on a five-minute conversation in the language, translates a two-minute speech or address, and writes a letter in the language (or translates 200 words from the written word) earns the right to wear an Interpreter Strip. Anna Duarte was awarded the Interpreter Strip for Spanish.
  • National Honor Patrol is earned by the very best patrols because they develop enthusiasm, teamwork, and camaraderie. To earn the award, a Patrol must show they have accomplished goals in the areas of Patrol Spirit, Outdoor activities, Service, Advancement, Uniforming, Leadership, and Recruitment. Both patrols earned this award since the last Court of Honor. Both the members of the JEDI Monkeys and the Order of the Phoenix Patrol were presented with this award.
  • Communication Merit Badge – The Communication Merit Badge was awarded to Adelaide Warden. The Communication merit badge emphasizes learning about the many communication styles prevalent in our society, and how to be sure the best communication style fits the situation. Scouts practice and develop communication skills while working on this merit badge, including active listening and note-taking, persuasion, observation of other’s communication styles in group settings, report writing, and skill instruction. Since communication is such an important life skill, all scouts are encouraged to work on it, but it is required to earn the highest rank in the Scouts BSA program, the Eagle Scout rank.
  • Scout Rank introduces youth to Scouting and gives them a taste of what it is about. Scouts work on a few basic skills such as knots and pocketknife safety; They learn about Troop Structure, how advancement and merit badges and Patrols work. Also, they are introduced to the Scout Law and Oath, motto, and slogan. They learn what it means to exhibit these characteristics and to work as a team. The Scouts earning the Scout Rank were Anna Duarte, Madison Keener, Abby Lyon, Annabelle Wander, Katherine Warden.
  • Tenderfoot Rank requires Scouts to learn the basics for a variety of scout and life skills, such as wood tools, first aid, aquatic safety, physical fitness, fire safety, and camping. They are also learning about citizenship, character, and for the first time, leadership. During their work as a Tenderfoot, they come to realize how much their success is dependent on working together as a team for common goals. Abby Lyon was recognized for earning the Tenderfoot Rank.
  • First Class Rank is a special milestone in Scouting and considered by some to be the most important rank. By the time a Scout earns First Class, they have been exposed to much about what it means to be a citizen guided by the Scout Oath and Law and they should be ready for anything Scouting can throw at them. It is a turning point in a Scout’s career. Being First Class makes Scouts eligible to participate in council and national level leadership training. Beyond First Class, advancement emphasizes self-learning and adult association through earning required merit badges, and service to others through leadership in the Troop and community service. Keturah Warden was awarded the First Class Rank in a special ceremony that included all youth and adults that have earned First Class and explained the symbolism in the First Class Rank insignia.
  • February – The Patrols camped at Graves Scout Reservation and worked on our camp skills, cooking, fire-building, wood tools, and we played capture the flag in the woods. The Patrols and Troop strengthened their team spirit and teamwork. Anna Duarte, Annabelle Wander, and Katherine Warden as Arrow of Light scouts, crossed over from Cub Scout Pack 785.
  • March - Began selling Adventure Cards at Westlake Ace Hardware. It was observed that Mrs. Warden strengthened the Scouts endurance by planning dates for the worst possible weather (of course, this could not have been intentional). But, despite the challenges, the Scouts sold 324 camp cards to pay their own way in Scouting and not burden their family with their activities. Also, the Troop conducted an extended campout over spring break at Mabee Scout Reservation and engaged in teamwork games. Highlights included first aid scenarios, building tall structures with wood, and conducting flag retirement ceremonies. It was great to include many new scouts on that trip as their first campout as full members of the Troop.
  • April - The grass turns green, and the weather becomes a friend. The Patrols performed a conservation project improving trails at Mabee Scout Reservation and including more new scouts in the Troop.
  • May – The Scouts put their wood tools skills to use, helping our community. The Patrols served at Sequoyah State Park, removing the invasive Eastern Red Cedar Trees. The May Campout started on a very damp Friday, but the weather turned glorious as Scouts worked hard to finish their ranks. The Patrols worked on skills for identifying poisonous plants, first aid hurry cases, and received or taught ax yard skills. The weekend was finished with some fabulous skits demonstrating first aid skills and conducting retirement ceremonies for several American flags.

The Patrol awards presented by the Senior Patrol Leader were:

Presentation of Merit Badges

Merit Badges are directed courses of study in a particular area. Fields of study and interest are explored beyond the limits of the school classroom. The topic specific and general transferable skills gained also equip Scouts for leadership and service in their Patrol, Troop, family, extracurricular activities, and prepare them for life.

Robert “Wick” Warden P.E., the Charter Organization Representative to the Troop, was called on to present the Merit Badges earned by the Scouts.

He explained that the process of earning a Merit Badge is a simple Scout led plan, where the scout selects a merit badge and discusses it with the unit leader, who then assigns a Merit Badge Counselor approved by the Troop Committee. She then meets with the Merit Badge Counselor who is skilled in the subject matter, often professionally. Together, they decide on a plan for working through the Merit Badge. The Scout continues to meet with the Counselor until the Merit Badge is completed. Lastly, the Scout is recognized.

As the Scout works through this process, she is developing social skills and self-reliance, and her confidence grows as she overcomes obstacles. Also, as she works with adults who volunteer as Merit Badge Counselors in the community, she gets a close look at how an adult can volunteer and give of him or herself to invest in their community. The Scout is also developing a network of accomplished and supportive adults that can be a resource to her as she continues into adulthood.

The Merit Badges awarded by the Charter Organization Representative were:

In the process of earning the merit badge, a few of the activities that Adelaide completed were the presentation of a 5-minute speech on amphibians, production of a Troop brochure, and creation of a Troop campfire program. She also attended a Broken Arrow, OK City Council Meeting and interviewed veterinarian and practice owner, Dr. Richard Shepherd, and reported on her findings from both to her Counselor.

Adelaide practices the communication skills she has gained as Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 990.

Her merit badge counselor was Dr. Justin Power, a Clinical Associate Professor at the OU College of Dentistry and Owner of Orthodontic Associates in Oklahoma City. Dr. Power is an accomplished communicator who uses the skills and principles taught in the merit badge daily and volunteers as a merit badge counselor and in many other capacities on a local and national level in Scouting and in his profession.

Presentation of Rank Advancement

The Senior Patrol Leader, Adelaide Warden, was called on to recognize rank advancement in the Troop.

Advancement in Scouting is a means to an end and the primary goal of any method or activity in Scouting is personal growth. Advancement, thus, is not so much a reward for what has been done. It is, instead, more about the journey: As a Scout advances, the Scout is measured, grows in confidence and self-reliance, and builds upon skills and abilities learned. The badge signifies that a young person—through participation in a series of educational activities has provided service to others, practiced personal responsibility, and set the examples critical to the development of leadership; all the while working to live by the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Success is achieved when the BSA Mission Statement to “prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.” is fulfilled and when the Scouts evidence the aims of Scouting: character development, citizenship training, leadership, and mental and physical fitness.

The Troop and Patrols are on the right track when youth accept responsibility, demonstrate self-reliance, and care for themselves and others; when they learn to weave Scouting ideals into their lives; and when it becomes evident they will be positive contributors to our American society.

The rank advancement awarded by the Senior Patrol Leader were:

To prepare to undertake the required leadership responsibilities in the Troop after earning First Class, Keturah had applied to attend the Boy Scouts of America National Youth Leadership Training. Her acceptance was contingent on attaining First Class. Earning First Class Rank completed her eligibility requirements for the course.


Keturah Warden led a reflection on the activities of the Troop and Patrols since the last Court of Honor:

A slide show of the Scout’s activities since the last Court of Honor was developed by the Scouts and presented to those in attendance.

Scoutmaster Minute

Scoutmaster, Kristin Warden, shared her thoughts in a Scoutmaster Minute. She read the Poem “Youth” by Samuel Ullman. This poem hung in General Douglas MacArthur’s office, when General MacArthur was the Supreme Allied Commander, serving in Tokyo, Japan from 1942-1951. She challenged the Scouts to “hold on to the ideals you are learning in your home and in your Patrol, and to realize those ideals, your enthusiasm for life, and your joy for the game of living will make you a giver of life to everyone around you if you challenge yourself to never give in to a life of ease, to always be growing and developing yourself.”

After a Scout Vesper and closing flag ceremony, the guests met with the Scoutmaster and Troop Committee to discuss the progress of the Scouts and the Troops plans for the following months, including Summer Camp 2023, Philmont Backpacking Expedition in 2024, and upcoming Leadership Training and Community Service Projects. The Scouts and guests also socialized and enjoyed refreshments.

Sound Interesting?

Scouts BSA Troop 990 (Girls) and Scouts BSA Boys Troop 513 (Boys) meet on Sundays at 3:30 PM at St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church in Broken Arrow (third weekend of the month the Troops are typically on outings. Call in advance to confirm). The Troops meet concurrently, but separately, to facilitate involvement of youth that have a sister/brother that is also involved in Scouting. Both Troops are chartered by Youth Leadership Development Foundation, a local 501(c)(3) committed to the development of leadership, character, citizenship, and personal fitness for a lifetime in the youth of our community through the Scouting program.

Youth who are interested in what Scouting has to offer to help youth be prepared for life are invited to attend. If this time and place does not work for you, we can connect you to a local Scouts BSA Troop that will! Text or call Wick Warden, Charter Organization Representative, at (405) 596-0174 for information about Troop 990 for Girls, Troop 513 for Boys, or other Scouting opportunities in our area.

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