TOP PHOTO: Stewart Thacker’s (middle) Eagle Scout project was to build an outside sanctuary at Cedar Hill Baptist Church.
By Charlotte Underwood
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Campbell County High School junior Stewart Thacker has earned the rank of Eagle Scout after a six year commitment to Boy Scouts of America. He is in Troop 310.He is also the recipient of the Boy Scout National Award of Merit. During his time in Scouting he has earned 107 merit badges and 23 various other Scout awards. He has accrued over 400 individual service hours.
Thacker began his Boy Scout journey in October 2015 when he was 11 years old and in the fifth grade. He said he had always heard good stories about being in Boy Scouts and so when a representative visited his school that year, he knew he wanted to join.
He said Boy Scouts has been one of the best things he has participated in and that he had met two of his closest friends in Scouts as well. Thacker said he felt being in Scouts over the years had made him “better” in multiple areas. “A lot of stuff has been brought out in myself because of Boy Scouts. I’m a better student, a better athlete and just a better individual all around because of Scouts,” Thacker said. He said he really enjoyed the “fitness challenges” that were part of Boy Scouts.
His most challenging task has been his Eagle Scout project, which was to build an outdoor sanctuary for Cedar Hill Baptist Church.
He picked it as his Eagle Scout project because he said he wanted to “give back to the church” and to his pastor, the late Ronnie Arnold. “I wanted to show my appreciation to the church and my reverence to God,” Thacker said. The project consisted of a 10 foot tall cross with landscaping, as well as six rough cut cedar benches. Thacker started the project before Christmas 2019 and finished it in July 2020. “The great thing about the project is it didn’t cost hardly anything. Most of everything was generously donated,” Thacker said.
He said he was inspired to build an outside sanctuary from his time at summer camp at Boy Scout Camp Buck Tom’s.”I wanted to bring that feeling back home,” Thacker said.
Both of Stewart’s parents are “very proud of him” and all his hard work to attain the rank of Eagle Scout. Boy Scouts is a part of their family life as his dad Chris Thacker is the Scoutmaster for Troop 310, and his mom Crystal Thacker is the committee chairman.
Stewart said he wanted to say a “huge thank you” to his mom and dad, his former pastor Ronnie Arnold and especially his grandmother Wanda Cooper, who “is a big part of his life”.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone who has helped me to get to where I am at,” Thacker said. Thacker plans to continue with the troop and “help other guys advance in their scouting careers.”
He also said he wanted to encourage any area youth to get involved in Boy Scouts of America.
“It is well worth the commitment and it’s a lot of fun,” Thacker said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/16/2021-6AM)