Six Tiger Cubs grow into six Eagle Scouts

September 24, 2009

Six kids from Fort Bend, Texas, did what very few did.  From their start in a Tiger Cub Scout den 11 years ago, all six stuck with Scouting — and all six earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank award offered by the boy Scouts of America.

Here is the story in its entirety from the online publication Fort BendNow.com.

September 24th, 2009  |  by FortBendNow Staff | Published in News

Six young men, all members of the same Den 2 as Tiger Scouts, have earned the rank of Eagle Scout. The six boys began their scouting journey 11 years ago as they went through the Cub Scout program together then joined two different Boy Scout Troops.

Keith Wedelich, David Sackllah, Vincent Lau, Vijay Rajan, Edward Zhou, Bryan Parker at the Eagle Court of Honor Ceremony.

Keith Wedelich, David Sackllah, Vincent Lau, Vijay Rajan, Edward Zhou, Bryan Parker at the Eagle Court of Honor Ceremony.

Keith Wedelich of Boy Scout Troop 1631, and Vincent Lau, Bryan Parker, Vijay Rajan, David Sackllah, and Edward Zhou of Boy Scout Troop 441 were honored at a special ceremony to recognize their achievement at Christ United Methodist Church.  Family, friends, teachers, scouts, and adult volunteers attended the ceremony.  Troop 441 is chartered by Christ United Methodist Church and Troop 1631 is chartered by the Optimist Club of Sugar Land.

Only 1 in 4 boys in America will become a Boy Scout, and of those only 2 percent earn the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honor a Boy Scout can achieve.

The ceremony was opened by Dennis Olheiser, Tomahawk District Commissioner, with introductions, followed by Chris Roberts, Boy

Scout Troop 441, who led the flag ceremony and provided a blessing for the ceremony.

Keith Wedelich, David Sackllah, Vincent Lau, Vijay Rajan, Edward Zhou and Bryan Parker as Cub Scouts at Wolf Rank.

Keith Wedelich, David Sackllah, Vincent Lau, Vijay Rajan, Edward Zhou and Bryan Parker as Cub Scouts at Wolf Rank.

Jim Rice, former Chairman of the Tomahawk District, and member of the Board of Directors of the Sam Houston Area Council BSA, gave a history of scouting and provided an introduction to a video of the 100 years of Scouting in America.

Scott Icenhower, Tomahawk District Advancement Chair, spoke on the significance of the Eagle Scout Rank; and Louis Alexander, Committee Chairman for Troop 441, spoke on the responsibilities of an Eagle Scout.

B.J. Bonner and Susan Fredericksen both spoke on the Trail to Eagle for the six scouts who started the journey 11 years ago.  A summary of their achievements and eagle projects were presented.

Rick Conley, Tomahawk District Chair, presented the Eagle Scout Rank Award to the Eagle Scouts and recognized the contributions of their parents.  Each Eagle Scout then spoke to thank those that have helped them along their journey and to share highlights of their scouting career so far.

Remarks were provided by Debbie Wedelich, the Den Leader for Den 2 in Cub Scout Pack 631, Jerre Parker, former Scoutmaster at Troop 441, and Arun Rajan, Committee Member of Troop 441 also spoke on the eagle scouts and how Boy Scouts had a profound effect on the families as well as the Eagle Scouts.

Jim Rice provided final comments and the ceremony concluded with a benediction and flag ceremony.  A reception was held immediately following the ceremony.

The Eagle Scouts

Keith Wedelich, Boy Scout Troop 1631, joined Cub Scouting in 1999 with Pack 631 and earned the Arrow of Light Award in December 2002, the highest award in Cub Scouts.  He joined Boy Scout Troop 1631 in January 2003.  Wedelich joined Troop 1631 as both of his brothers were members.  Wedelich held various positions of leadership in his Troop including scribe, quartermaster, assistant senior patrol leader, and Order of the Arrow representative.  He was elected by his Troop to the Order of the Arrow.  On the trail to Eagle, he earned 30 merit badges.

Wedelich’s scouting career has included all three high adventure camps; more than 50 miles of hiking in the mountains at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, 75 miles of canoeing in the boundary waters of Canada at Northern Tier, and scuba diving in the Florida Keys at Florida Sea Base.  He also attended the 2005 National Boy Scout Jamboree in Fort A.P. Hill Virginia.  He has more than 124 nights of camping, 134 canoe miles, 129 hiking miles.

For his Eagle Scout Service Project, Wedelich designed and led a crew to build a horse barn for Morning Glory Ranch, an organization that provides equine therapy for mentally and physically handicapped youth.  The horse barn is 12 foot by 12 foot and 10 feet tall.  The barn was built in a small pasture area where new horses are held for quarantine or horses that are ill or about to foal can be closely monitored.  Wedelich directed 20 people over six work days for a total of 320 man hours.  He also provided more than 200 hours of service to the community on various service projects.

Wedelich is a senior at Clements High School and is involved in the Clements Robotics Team, National Honor Society, Academic Decathalon, JETS, Mu Alpha Theta, choir and the computer science club.  His parents are Hank and Debbie Wedelich and he has one sister, Laura, 25, who earned the Girl Scout Gold Award.  His two brothers, Jeffrey, 24, and David, 23, are also Eagle Scouts from Troop 1631.

Vincent Lau, Bryan Parker, Vijay Rajan, David Sackllah, and Edward Zhou of Boy Scout Troop 441 all joined Cub Scouting in 1999 with Pack 631 and earned the Arrow of Light Award in December 2002, the highest award in Cub Scouts.  All then joined Boy Scout Troop 441 in January 2003.

Sackllah held various positions of leadership in Troop 441 including patrol leader, troop guide, and chaplain aide.  He was elected by his Troop to the Order of the Arrow.  On the trail to Eagle, he earned 22 merit badges.

Sackllah’s scouting career has included National Youth Leadership Training and he attended various summer camps.  He was also part of Frog Patrol which earned National Honor Patrol recognition.  David earned the God and Me Religious Award.

For his Eagle Scout Project, he wanted to create a friendly environment for the students using Settler’s Way Elementary Library.  Sackllah designed, built, and painted 12 flower-shaped tables.  He also re-shelved more than 10,000 books so the books would be in the correct order and easier to find.  He directed 24 people for a total of 148 man hours.

Sackllah is a senior at Clements High School and is involved in Clements Varsity Football, Student Council, PALS, and the National Honor Society.  He also volunteers as a “Dream League Angel” and is a volunteer coach for the First Colony Youth Basketball Association.  His parents are and Jimmy and Tracy Sackllah.

Lau held various positions of leadership in Troop 441 including assistant patrol leader, patrol leader, historian, troop guide, instructor, and assistant senior patrol leader.  Lau was elected by his Troop to the Order of the Arrow.  On the trail to Eagle, he earned 35 merit badges.

Lau’s scouting career has included National Youth Leadership Training in 2006; the New River Adventure Camp in Virginia in 2006; National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience in 2007; and 73 miles of hiking in the mountains at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico in 2008.  He was part of Frog Patrol which earned National Honor Patrol recognition.  Vincent also earned the World Conservation, Winter Camper, and Mile Swim awards.

For his Eagle Project, Lau designed and constructed four 6’ x 3’ x 2’ shelves and a 6’ x 7’ x 2’ lockable cabinet for Colony Bend Elementary School.  The shelves hold standardized storage bins filled with various props and musical equipment.  The lockable cabinet provides secure storage for costumes.  Lau brought together 20 volunteers over three work days to construct and install the shelves for a total of 390 man hours.

Lau is a senior at Clements High School and is involved in the robotics team, Clements Interact (currently hold Vice President position), Clements Earth, and ACES clubs.  He is also a member of National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, and National Eagle Scout Association.  For the past three summers, he spent a total of 350 hours volunteering at Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) as an Ecoteen assisting the science summer camp counselors and giving science presentations to the public.  For his volunteer efforts at HMNS, he earned the President’s Volunteer Service Silver Award in 2008.  His parents are Lawrence and Linda Lau and he has a 15-year-old sister, Stacey.

Vijay Rajan held various positions of leadership in Troop 441 including patrol leader, troop guide, librarian, historian, and Order of the Arrow representative.  He was elected by his Troop to the Order of the Arrow.  On the trail to Eagle, he earned 38 merit badges.

Rajan’s scouting career has included an expedition at Philmont Scout Ranch, and various summer camps in Texas, and he earned the Mile Swim award.  He was also part of Frog Patrol which earned National Honor Patrol recognition.  Rajan earned the Dharma (Hindu) Religious Award as a Boy Scout.

For his Eagle Scout Project, Rajan planned and supervised landscaping for a garden courtyard and cleaning a pond for Kids Unlimited.  This non-profit organization benefits children with cancer.  Their 12-acre facility provides an atmosphere where their illness can be temporarily forgotten.  He directed 22 people for a total of 131 man hours.

Rajan is a senior at Clements High School and is involved in DECA, Rotary Interact and Indian Cultural Organization clubs. He hopes to major in Engineering and Business at College.

His parents are Arun and Padmini Rajan.

Edward Zhou joined Cub Scouts in 1998, and then joined Pack 631 when the family moved to Texas.  He held various positions of leadership in Troop 441 including patrol leader, troop guide, historian, and instructor.  He was elected by his Troop to the Order of the Arrow.  On the trail to Eagle, he earned 24 merit badges.

Zhou’s scouting career has included National Youth Leadership Training, two summer camps in Texas, and he earned the Mile Swim award.  He was also part of Frog Patrol which earned National Honor Patrol recognition.

For his Eagle Scout Project, Zhou designed and built a pair of storage shelves for the Chinese Civic Center.  The storage shelves were pre-built on the first day and then they were moved to the site, assembled and stocked.  He directed 14 people for a total of 133 man hours.

Zhou is a senior at Clements High School and is an active member of Rotary Interact and his high school debate team.  He is a National AP Scholar and a National Merit Semifinalist. He earned a “Distinguished Volunteer” award from the Chinese Civic Center in 2009.  His parents are John and Tina, and his brother Oliver is a student at UT Austin.

Bryan Parker held various positions of leadership in Troop 441 including assistant patrol leader, patrol leader, quartermaster, instructor, and senior patrol leader. Parker was elected by his Troop to the Order of the Arrow.  On the trail to Eagle, he earned 31 merit badges and camped over 135 nights.  He has also earned an Eagle Gold Palm.

Parker’s scouting career has included National Youth Leadership Training, New River Adventure in Virginia, the 2005 National Boy Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill Virginia, and hiking more than 150 miles during two treks at Philmont Scout Ranch including one selection as his trek’s crew leader.  He was also part of Frog Patrol which earned National Honor Patrol recognition.  Parker earned the God and Me Religious Award in 2001.

For his Eagle Project, Parker designed and constructed a storage cabinet for Colony Bend Elementary School to hold science equipment for various grades in a central, secure location.  He directed 14 people for a total of 94 volunteer hours.

Parker is a senior at Clements High School and is a member of the National Honor Society.  He plans to study Business at a major university next year.  His parents are Jerre and Maureen Parker and he has one sister, Heather, who has earned the Girl Scout Silver award.

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Dembski’s students sent into the crucible of Darwinism, at SMU!

September 24, 2009

Oh, the sermons they’ll be able to preach!

We learn from a couple of sources that Bill Dembski has assigned his students in two different classes at Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary to try to crash a program honoring Charles Darwin and evolution theory at nearby Southern Methodist University, on Thursday, September 24.

Fall 2009

Christian Apologetics (SWBTS #PHILO 4373 – Fall 2009)

<> New as of 09.16.09! Dear Class, I want to share with you a few things: (1) For extra credit I’d like you to go to SMU on September 24th. On that day there are two back-to-back events at SMU celebrating Darwin — go to smu.edu/smunews/darwin/events.asp and scroll down to September 24th. I don’t want you going there merely as spectators but will indicate in class how you might actively participate and engage the Darwin-lovers you’ll find there.

*     *     *     *     *

Intelligent Design or Unintelligent Evolution (SWBTS #PHILO 2483 – Fall 2009)

<> New as of 09.16.09! Dear Class, I want to share with you a few things: (1) For extra credit I’d like you to go to SMU on September 24th. On that day there are two back-to-back events at SMU celebrating Darwin — go to smu.edu/smunews/darwin/events.asp and scroll down to September 24th. I don’t want you going there merely as spectators but will indicate in class how you might actively participate and engage the Darwin-lovers you’ll find there.

You gotta wonder just what would happen if one of those abused students were to actually pay attention to the science, turn honest, and become a defender of science and Darwin.  SWBTS students are not required to swear to honesty, however, so it’s unlikely they will turn (not at the tuitions they pay!).

SMU’s Year of Darwin programs feature the NOVA episode on the Pennsylvania trial on evolution and intelligent design.  The NOVA piece will be screened, and discussions will include the Honorable John E. Jones, the federal judge who presided over the trial and has since been maligned unfairly by Dembski and other religionists who reject the views of science.  Other lecturers include reporter Laurie Lebo and the team that produced the NOVA episode:

Sept. 24, 2009

Reception 10 a.m.

Lecture 10:30 a.m.

DeGolyer Library

The Friends of the SMU Libraries/Colophon and The Friends of KERA Invite the public to a special event in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species and the 200th birthday of its author, Charles Darwin. Featured speakers will be Paula Apsell, senior executive producer of NOVA, and Melanie Wallace, senior series producer of NOVA. Please RSVP to 214-768-3225 or cruppi@smu.edu, Complimentary Valet Parking.
Sept. 24, 2009

4-6 p.m.

O’Donnell Hall

Owen Art Center

Screening of “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial,” a NOVA documentary. Introduction by Paula Apsell, senior executive producer of NOVA, who received an honorary degree from SMU in 2008.
Sept. 24, 2009

Reception 6-7 p.m.

Panel 7-8:30 p.m.

Caruth Auditorium

Owen Art Center

A panel discussion on the legal, ethical and journalistic issues surrounding the making of NOVA’s documentary film, Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial. Participants include John E. Jones, the federal judge who barred a Dover, Pa., public school district in 2005 from teaching “intelligent design”; Paula Apsell and Melanie Wallace, NOVA producers of the documentary; plaintiff’s council Eric Rothschild; and Laurie Lebo, author of The Devil in Dover.
Sept. 25, 2009

10:30 a.m. – noon

Karcher Auditorium

Storey Hall

“Intelligent Design in the Classroom,” a panel discussion on First Amendment issues featuring Judge John E. Jones III, Eric Rothschild (Pepper Hamilton, LLP), Hiram Sasser (Liberty Legal Institute) and Lackland Bloom, SMU’s Dedman School of Law.
Sept. 25, 2009

10-11:30 a.m.

3531 Garson

Owens Art Center

Master class on Documentary Film Making, taught by Paula Apsell and Melanie Wallace of NOVA. Strictly by RSVP (to Teri Trevino, trevinot@mail.smu.edu)
Sept. 25, 2009

2-3 p.m.

Hughes-Trigg Forum

Lauri Lebo will speak on “From Dover to Texas: Reporting on Extremist Views in a Fair and Balanced World” followed by a book signing of her book, The Devil in Dover.

I have attended sessions around Dallas where Dembski and other ID creationists were the featured speakers.  We know one thing for certain:  Dembski’s students will be given a more polite and mannerly reception at SMU than Dembski and his crew give scientists and critics at their own sessions.  For years, since 1991 at least, SMU has allowed Dembski and his accomplices to use the facilities and good offices of SMU to promote their anti-science screeds, though Dembski’s views are not shared by Methodists, and are contrary to positions taken by the Methodist General Assembly.

It is impossible to imagine that SWBTS would allow Methodists to do the same thing, teaching and promoting science and especially evolution theory, at the seminary.

SMU’s program is open to the public (go to the SMU site above to see more events set over the next few months).

Dembski is teaching apologetics.  Creationist apologists are not licensed, and generally cannot be sued for pedagogical or theological malpractice, even by their students.  Standards for apologetics don’t exist.  Scientists, on the other hand, are subject to peer review, and if using federal funds, prosecution should they tell falsehoods.

Nota bene: SMU’s lectures on Darwin’s Evolving Legacy are available on video, on-line.  See the wonderfully informative and explanatory presentation by Dr. Barbara Forrest, for example.


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