By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
Blaine Anderson got into scouting as a Tiger Cub when he was not quite six years of age. He progressed to a Cub Scout and then a Boy Scout with Troop 120 in Fairmont. Last fall he transferred to Troop 59 in Shinnston, partly because it was closer to where he lives plus the fact that his family knew the Scoutmaster of Troop 59 very well.
Blaine has now proudly completed all the requirements to be designated the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. Being worthy of this prestigious award does not come easily and is based on a set of national standards. Among other things, it requires earning 21 merit badges, exhibiting leadership qualities, and completing an Eagle Scout project.
He has completed beyond the 32 merit badges required, served in a leadership position as a Patrol Leader, and this summer he completed his community service project, choosing a project that would benefit his church, Sunrise Chapel in Monongah. The church had several things on its wish list! Although satisfying just one of those ‘wishes’ would have sufficed, because it was his church made it a little more personal so Blaine chose to fulfill two ‘wishes’ and combine both facets into his one project.
He had to present a proposal for his project which had to be approved by the Eagle Board.
“My project was to build a wheelchair ramp on the back of my church and I framed new signage at the church as well,” Blaine stated. “I had to plan, organize, and execute the project, but I had help from Larry Bittinger, who is a carpenter and oversaw that the building was done correctly; his grandson Broc, who is in Troop 59 as well, assisted me with the project. I also did a fundraiser to help raise some of the resources to pay for the project. Although I built the framing for the signage, JD Signs did the lettering but had me come in and help with the process so it was a real learning experience.”
Asked why becoming an Eagle Scout was important to him, Blaine said that when he was younger, he hadn’t really thought about it, but when he became a Boy Scout, he knew he wanted to achieve the Eagle Scout rank.
“It is a great accomplishment that not every scout attains, and it became my goal to see it through,” he said. “Scouting has taught me so many things through the years, including responsibility, integrity, patience, and the importance of doing good deeds for others.
Although Blaine is not quite 18 years of age yet, he is mature enough to realize what a benefit becoming an Eagle Scout can be for a young man. Having learned from the scouting experience so many strong character traits and leadership qualities that will continue to make him stand apart from others, he knows this rank will be recognized on college admissions papers, scholarship applications, and by employment recruiters. It can open many doors throughout his lifetime.
Blaine is the son of Beth and Clay Anderson who reside with their family on the family farm near Mannington. He has an older brother, Camren, who is also an Eagle Scout, and a younger sister, Sarah, age ten. Blaine has been a member of the THESIS Homeschool Co-op in Fairmont and has been homeschooled since preschool. This year he is entering his senior year of high school and has plans to enter Pierpont Community College in the PSI School.
He enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, and working on cars and equipment. He has been a member of the Mannington 4-H for five years where he participated in the livestock program winning Grand Champion Lamb in 2017, 2018 and 2020, and Reserve Grand Champion Market Steer in 2019. He also enjoys participating in Church League Basketball.
Blaine will appear before the Board of Reviews on September 13th to receive his Eagle Scout rank.