Award lauds Scout’s ambition, preserves memory
Published 9:40 am Friday, September 19, 2014
COURTLAND—Anthony Ona’s dedication to Scouting is extensive, to say the least. A member of Troop 17 in Franklin, Ona has, in the past year alone, earned 14 merit badges. These are symbols of achievement in successfully learning different skills or gaining knowledge in various topics. A few of the badges he’s earned have been for camping, citizenship in the nation, citizenship in the world and cooking.
For his accomplishment, Ona received on Tuesday the Jackson Clarke Fox Merit Badge Achievement Award. This is given to the Boy Scout who earns the most merit badges in the troop within 12 months.
In addition, Ona, 13, has earned Religious Emblems, the Mile Swim and World Conservation Special Awards. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Alex Ona of Courtland, he serves as the troop’s Color Guard commander, and has had other positions of responsibility within the unit.
“He’s a hard worker,” Scoutmaster Bryan Fenters said about Ona. “He’s self-motivated and a smart young man. He’s very active and involved in most everything we do.”
The presentation is made especially significant for the Boy Scout and the troop because of the award’s namesake.
Jackson Fox was a 13-year-old member of Troop 17 in 2006. He was devoted to the Scout Oath, the Scout Law and all the activities available. In addition to earning the rank of Star, Fox was working on his 22 merit badges.
“Jackson loved nature. He loved earning merit badges,” Fenters said. “His goal was earn all the merit badges.”
Another activity that Fox enjoyed was camping. Returning from such a trip on Nov. 5, 2006, he and fellow scouts Luke Drewry, Carter Stephenson and Assistant Scoutmaster John Oliver were tragically killed in a car accident.
“We established the award to do something for the troop to which he was so attached,” said his father, Clarke Fox.
“Scouting was a major part of his life, and we wanted to share his memory. He was very aggressive in scouting at the time [of his death]. He was very focused on achievement and rank. Anthony is a prime example of that.”
Fox confirmed that Jackson wanted to earn all the available merit badges at the time — about 120 then, he figured. According to the organization’s website, today there are 135 badges available to Boy Scouts.
His son also wanted to become an Eagle Scout at 13.
“He had a plan in place,” Fox said.