Eight members of Boy Scout Troop #77, “The Thunder Toads” were recognized as Eagle Scouts, the highest achievement of rank in the Boy Scouts of America program, during a Court of Honor ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 28, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Raymond. To achieve this recognition Silas Weir, John Wolf, Charlie Corso, Levi Weir, Nicholas Probst, Graham Gunn, Bryce Wolf and Austin Page earned more than 21 merit badges and demonstrated Scout Spirit by organizing, leading and completing extensive service projects that benefited their communities.
A celebratory reception was held prior to the start of the ceremony, where guests could mingle and view displays of the newly ranked Eagle Scouts projects and merit badges, as well as photos of the troop.
Illinois State Police Sgt. Hanford Tanner opened the ceremony with a presentation of the flag. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the scouts joined their scoutmaster, David Wolf, at the podium for the Scout Law, or 12 principles, that all boy scouts vow to uphold, trustworthiness, loyalty, helpfulness, friendliness, courteousness, kindness, obedience, cheerfulness, thriftiness, bravery, cleanliness and reverence.
Marine Corps League Detachment #1385 Past Jr. Commandant Coordinator Chris Guiterrez then spoke to the scouts, congratulating them on an achievement that few attain as well as stressing the responsibility that comes with wearing an Eagle Scout pin. He spoke to them about his time in service to the country as a Marine and the importance of being prepared and falling back on the values instilled in them by the Boy Scouts of America program as they step into adulthood. Guiterrez then presented Good Citizen Awards and KA-BAR knives to the scouts’ parents on their behalf.
Each of the scouts took a turn at the podium presenting pins to their parents and the mentors who guided them through their Eagle Scout projects. Silas Weir, the son of Colleen and David Weir, earned his ranking in 2019. His project was purchasing and installing an AED at MacGomery Christian Service Camp, under the mentorship of Joseph Corso.
John Wolf, the son of Rachelle and David Wolf, earned his ranking in 2020. His project was replacing the batting cage netting at Raymond Baseball field and student coaching for the Lincolnwood Junior Knights, under the mentorship of Joshua Stone.
Charlie Corso, the son of Jody and Joseph Corso, earned his rank in 2020. His project was installing an AED and providing training at the Waggoner Christian Church, under the mentorship of Aaron Myers. Levi Weir, the son of Colleen and David Weir, earned his rank in 2020. His project was repairing and refurbishing the stage at Lincolnwood High School, under the mentorship of Rusty Menge.
Nicholas Probst, the son of Lisa and Craig Probst, earned his ranking in 2020. His project was collecting and properly destroying approximately 1,200 dilapidated American flags, under the mentorship of Phil Hampton. Graham Gunn, the son of Lisa and Will Gunn, earned his ranking in 2020. His project was building an American Flag destruction containment pit at Raymond Memorial Park, under the mentorship of Phil Hampton.
Bryce Wolf, the son of Rachelle and David Wolf, earned his rank in 2021. His project was installing lights over the batting cages at Raymond Baseball Park, under the mentorship of Carl Walch. Austin Page, the son of Mereka and Allen Page, earned his ranking in 2021. His project was landscaping and installing lights at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Carlinville under the mentorship of Father Aiken Carter and Blaine Carr.
Following the pinning, Scoutmaster Wolf took a moment to reminisce about his years as troop leader as well as watching the troop members grow from boys to young men. He thanked their parents for giving him the privilege of being a part of their son’s lives. Wolf then thanked the community members and organizations that have supported Troop #77. He also gave special recognition to those that led the Thunder Toads alongside him: Charter President Will Gunn, Charter Organization/Treasurer Dale Weitekamp, Assistant Scoutmasters Joe Corso (training coordinator), Dave Weir, KJ Wolf and Carol Benning.
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