Dedication to Scouting will continue for newest Eagle Scout
Published 9:40 am Saturday, August 23, 2014
COURTLAND—Courtland is a little cleaner thanks to Arthur A. Johnson of Boy Scout Troop 17. For his Eagle project, Johnson created trash disposals when he saw an area in town with too much litter.
“It didn’t look appealing,” Johnson said. So he got to work and with the help of other Scouts and adults, they created the site for the town’s Community Center.
Such service projects are a requirement for any Boy Scout who wants to earn his Eagle award, which is the highest honor in the program. Johnson, 16, was recognized for this and his Scouting service to the community.
He remembers well what he was feeling during the recent ceremony.
“I was thanking God and feeling proud,” Johnson said. “I was very grateful for the leaders and all the people that helped Scouting and other scouts.”
Part of the ceremony includes recognizing a parent or guardian of the Scout. Joyce and Forrest Johnson stood by as Arthur was honored. He is also the maternal grandson of the late Louise and William Jones Sr., and paternal grandparents were the late Catherine Johnson and Arthur Hill Sr.
Arthur’s mother is thrilled by her son’s accomplishments.
“I’m just ecstatic. I’m very proud of him that he enjoyed as he went through Scouting,” she said. “He learned a lot. I’m glad he had the opportunity to see some things he saw and the friends he made with the guys. They’re like family to him.
“He still enjoys it. Once a Scout, always a Scout. That’s the way he looks at it.”
Johnson said his introduction to the program started back with the Cub Scouts in 2006.
“Leaders came to our elementary school and advertised,” he said, adding that the Pinewood Derby was a big draw.
“That was appealing to me,” Johnson added. “That really got me started. You start liking it because you learn skills and things you didn’t know before.”
Three years later, he moved up to the Boy Scouts of Troop 17, which is sponsored by High Street United Methodist Church.
Among his accomplishments, the young man has earned his Arrow of Light Award, 28 merit badges and camped a total of 90 nights. Two years ago, Johnson was inducted into Scouting’s honor society, the Order of the Arrow. Earlier this year, he was welcomed as a Brotherhood member.
All the while, the rising junior at Southampton High School has kept up his grades and stayed on the honor roll. As if that weren’t enough, Johnson has been in Key Club, marching band, athletics, the Student Government Association and the YMCA Black Achievers. Oh, and he also attends Tabernacle of Holiness Church in Franklin.
Thinking back on his time in Scouts, Johnson said there’s more than just one highlight for him.
“It’s all the trips that we take and the skills that we learn through the merit badges,” he said, adding that he’s looking forward to going on a High Adventure at Philmont, New Mexico, next August.
For Johnson, receiving the award does not mean an end to his dedication to Scouting.
“I will continue to go to meetings and help the troop, and teach and share my knowledge with younger Scouts,” he said.
Jennifer Stephenson of High Street UMC contributed to information in this story.