Democrat Photo by Dan Hust
LOCAL BOY SCOUT leader Tom Gain, left, Cindy Theadore, center right, and Bob Theadore, right, watch as brand new Eagle Scout John Theadore is lauded for his achievements on Saturday.
By Dan Hust
OBERNBURG October 19, 2001 Befitting the kind of event that only happens to a miniscule percentage of Boy Scouts across the nation, Saturdays Eagle Court of Honor for John Robert Theadore was a mix of high honors, stirring speeches, free-flowing tears, and an affectionate warmth inside the sacred setting of St. Marys Church in Obernburg.
Theadore, the 15-year-old son of Robert and Cynthia Theadore of North Branch, was recognized by approximately 70 family members, friends and fellow scouts for achieving the highest rank possible in scouting: that of Eagle Scout.
To reach that height, the young member of Troop 106, Jeffersonville had labored for years to acquire not only the minimum of 21 merit badges, but 50 in all. For the past year, he had worked on a project he designed and headed to dramatically enhance and beautify the North Branch firehouse going so far as to be recognized by Sullivan Renaissance, which included two grants of $1,000 each and placing fourth in a countywide beautification contest.
Today, the North Branch firehouse is outfitted with flower boxes, shrubs, a welcome sign and a memorial park complete with benches, a flagpole, an old-fashioned gong and a monument.
And it hasnt gone unnoticed.
It was quite a project, quite an undertaking, said a slightly amazed Dan Briggs, the county manager and a member of the Eagle Board that interviews and approves local Eagle Scouts-to-be. John demonstrated leadership abilities and attention to detail. That project is a living testimony and tribute to his community, and John is a credit to his family, friends and his troop.
Indeed, it was noted that Theadore, for no pay, worked sometimes 50 hours a week to complete his project.
After all, who wouldnt want some free help? joked North Branch Volunteer Fire Department President Kevin Zieres, who then turned serious. As it turned out, our expectations were exceeded many times over.
Before presenting him with a plaque, Zieres added that he wished Theadore was old enough to join the department.
Someone who had the privilege to work with Theadore was his former third grade teacher, Sullivan West/Delaware Valley Elementary Principal Jackie Robisch, who employs him in her office as an aide.
Hes in the top five of his class, she commented to the crowd. Hes very highly motivated . . . a young man who sets goals for himself. He is an excellent choice [for Eagle Scout].
And the accolades kept coming, with speeches of praise by other scouting leaders and certificates of commendation from President George W. Bush to NY Archbishop Edward Cardinal Egan to Governor George Pataki.
Gifts of appreciation were also handed to Theadore, from a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in his name courtesy of Senator Chuck Schumer to an eagle crafted by Scoutmaster Tom Gain.
And of course, his parents joined in the celebration, receiving pins and hugs for their efforts to mold Boy Scoutings newest Eagle Scout. The younger Theadore, known for his polite and considerate ways, didnt forget his grandmother either, giving her a corsage right after presenting his mother with a bouquet of roses.
Current Troop 106 Scoutmaster Burton Robertson told the audience that one of the first things on the trip toward the Eagle Scout designation is proving to yourself that you are this special person.
He had no doubt that John Theadore had proved that not only to himself, but to a whole lot of other people.
He is always willing to do his part and more, said Robertson.