Hancock Eagle Scout brings forward men from history
Stephen Baird, 15, of Hancock just after his Eagle Scout ceremony at the Peterborough Community Center Sunday afternoon attended by about 160 people. (MEGHAN PIERCE PHOTO)
The distinction is part of the Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony initiating Baird and acknowledging his work toward achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.
The ceremony took place as part of an American Legion Cheney-Armstrong Post 5 meeting and was well attended by area veterans.
Baird's grandfather, World War II veteran Alfred DeBlois, who died last June, had been a member of the post.
For his Eagle Scout project, Baird of Troop 8 of Peterborough organized 32 volunteers to work 183 hours fixing up the School Kids in Peterborough before and after school program building. The project included building a cedar sandbox and trash corral, renovating the garden area and creating an outdoor music center.
Among the many speakers Sunday was Capt. Larry Brudnicki, who as captain of a Coast Guard ship performed two dramatic rescues during a storm that became known as "The Perfect Storm," which inspired the New York Times best-seller and the blockbuster movie.
Brudnicki recalled becoming an Eagle Scout 50 years ago. He was trumped by 90-year-old World War II army veteran Chet Soule of Peterborough, who has been an Eagle Scout for 76 years.
Soule took off his jacket before approaching the podium to speak to reveal he was wearing his Boy Scouts uniform. As a surprise he presented Baird with a Boy Scout kerchief that had been presented to Soule at the first Boy Scout Jamboree in February 1937.
Soule said the Jamboree was first planned for 1935, but was canceled due to a polio outbreak. Because of World War II the annual Jamborees didn't start again until 1950, he said.
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