Thomas Kersey Soars to Eagle Scout
Saturday, May 21 Thomas Kersey, a Dixon High senior will be recognized for his accomplishment in achieving the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America, that of Eagle Scout. He will be presented with the badge of honor during an Eagle Court-of-Honor that night.
It has been a ten year journey which began as an eight year old cub scout. He graduated from Dixon’s Pack 261 having achieved the highest rank in cub scouting, that of Arrow of Light. He continued on, joining Boy Scout Troop 261 to begin the “Trail to Eagle”. Then completing the trail as a member of Varsity Team 261.
The ‘trail’ involves learning, practicing, and developing various skills, some of which are first aid, knot tying, orienteering, and emergency preparedness. Citizenship is also a connecting theme stretching between family, community, nation, and world. For a Boy Scout to achieve Eagle Scout, he is required to earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, 13 of which are specifically considered ‘Eagle required’ and an additional 8 of his choosing. The earning of merit badges leads to a boy learning and gaining experience in new areas of interest, that may eventually lead into a future occupation. Thomas has earned a total of 26 merit badges.
Service and leadership are also an important part of the boy scouts experiences and growth. Throughout the stages of advancement the Boy Scout must give many hours of service, and fulfill various roles of leadership. Thomas’ leadership began as a patrol leader in the troop, as well as president of the Deacon’s Quorum, of the Young Men’s group of the LDS church. He served as junior staff for two years at the BSA scout camp Camp Cole. There he assisted with teaching the Forestry and Astronomy merit badges, and working in the kitchen. As a member of the varsity team, he served as a co-captain, while serving as president of his Young Men’s Teachers quorum in the LDS church. Thomas was awarded Varsity Scout of the Year at the Yolo District Boy Scout dinner in May 2014.
Within the Boy Scout organization, is a National Honor Society commonly known as the Order of the Arrow. Scouts are selected by their peers as best exemplifying the ideals of the Scout Oath and Law. Thomas is one such scout. In June of 2013, after being elected into the OA, he completed what is known as the ‘Ordeal’, a weekend of reflective service. Then as a member of OA, he served on the dance and ceremony teams. One of his roles was a participant, then later Lead, on the Arrow of Light ceremony team. The Arrow of Light team visited local Cub Scout packs and recognized Cub Scouts achieving the rank of Arrow of Light.
As a requirement for the Eagle Scout rank, a boy scout must choose a need in the community, and organize, plan, and, lead over an ‘Eagle Scout Project’ that leads to serving that need. The project is more about the boy scouts ability to take on responsibility and lead over a group of volunteers. This past February, Thomas oversaw a refurbishing project of the landscaping of Dixon Family Services. The project included spreading mulch, repairing and repainting the front flower boxes, resurfacing and repainting the front sign, repainting the stripes on the entrance steps, and converting a portion of the small enclosure fence into a gate. His time included meetings with Cookie Powell, DFS Director, obtaining materials, recruiting, and leading over volunteers.
For the Kerseys, scouting runs in the family. Thomas’ grandfather, Bob Kersey a 42 yr. Dixon resident, was a Boy Scout as a youth. His father Rob Kersey, also a Dixon resident, and a Dixon High class of ’85 graduate received Eagle Scout in 1984. His brother Robby, a Dixon High class of 2014 graduate received Eagle Scout in 2013. His uncle Michael Kersey, a Dixon High class of ’87 graduate received Eagle Scout in 1986. Three of Michael’s five boys have already received the rank of Eagle Scout.
Thomas’ Eagle Court-of-Honor will take place at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building, 305 North Lincoln St., at 7:00 pm, on Saturday, May 21. All who have known Thomas are invited to come and join in the celebration. There will be refreshments and socializing afterwards.
Thomas Kersey Soars to Eagle Scout