Boy scouts receive memorial scholarship
Published 1:25 pm Saturday, May 30, 2015
By Theresa Henderson
Special to The Tidewater News
Jimmy and Theresa Henderson lost their 33-year-old son, Eric, last year. Since that time, the family channeled their pain by starting a scholarship fund with Partners International Foundation to keep their son’s memory alive.
Eric was an Eagle Scout with local Troop 28 and was awarded the Order of the Arrow. He continued his dedication and love of scouting through his mentorship with Campus Scouts while attending Virginia Tech. It was this love of scouting that prompted the family to start the Eric V. Henderson Memorial Scholarship by offering a $1,000 award to a local boy scout.
The recipient of the scholarship must be a Boy Scout in good standing of the troop who has been accepted into a fulltime college and hold a minimum GPA of 3.0. He must demonstrate leadership, character and heart for family, friends and community by exemplifying the Scout Oath and Law in his daily life, as well as to assist others and conduct himself in such a way that warrants similar recognition. The Henderson family did not know what to expect in the first year of the scholarship, but what they got was above the ordinary. The decision came down to two very strong and exemplary young men. With the challenge of selecting the most deserving candidate, the selection committee was unable to choose one individual over the other and voted to award both individuals with the $1,000 award.
The first scholarship went to Brian Cooke, son of Eric and Diane Cooke of Franklin. Brian is an Eagle Scout and assistant scoutmaster with Troop 17, chartered by the High Street United Methodist Church. He has a GPA of 3.7 and plans to attend Virginia Tech this fall, majoring in natural resources and environment. Brian attends Southampton High School and served as captain of the varsity soccer team, cross country team and varsity club. He is a church acolyte, member of the YMCA Leaders Club, Hunterdale Volunteer Fire Department and Relay For Life team member. He is a charter member of the Venture Crew 1737, and served two years as Quartermaster. He was selected as delegate to the Virginia Boys State, Key Club Convention Delegate and Sentinel and Vice President of the Future Farmers of America.
“I would like to thank the Henderson family for their generosity in awarding me this scholarship. Scouting has greatly impacted my life, just as it did for Eric Henderson,” Cooke said after the ceremony.
The second scholarship went to Forrest South, son of Gregory and Elizabeth South of Courtland. Forrest is an Eagle Scout and assistant scoutmaster with Troop 37 chartered by the Carrsville Ruritan Club. He has a GPA of 3.7 and plans to attend Old Dominion University this fall majoring in civil engineering. Forrest attends Southampton High School and served as captain of the cross country team, soccer team, Key Club, Future Farmers of America, SkillsUSA and a student representative with the Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee. He is a member of the Courtland Volunteer Rescue Squad, Capron Baptist Church and Relay For Life team. He founded the Franklin/Southampton chapter of the Venture Crew 1737, and has earned the Vigil Honor, the highest honor that the Boy Scouts’ Order of the Arrow can bestow upon a scout.
“Being able to watch Brian and I grow and develop to become the men we are through scouting has been amazing, and earning this scholarship just exemplifies that,” South said.
The Eric V. Henderson Memorial Scholarship was presented to these two individuals during the Siouan Rivers District Annual Awards Banquet on Thursday at Capron Baptist Church.
Staff writer Walter Francis Jr. contributed to this report.