Baxter resident and Brainerd High School Class of 2012 graduate Nicholas Oldham of Troop 44 earned the rank of Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America and received the Eagle Scout award at a special Court of Honor on Dec. 27 at the Northland Arboretum.
To earn the Eagle, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts, Oldham participated in years of scouting, receiving rank advancements over time, completed at least 21 merit badges and led volunteers in a community service project. His service project consisted of clearing and marking snow shoe trails at the Arboretum.
Jason Howard, a former scoutmaster of Troop 44, led Oldham in the Eagle pledge, and Jim Squires, current scoutmaster of the troop, presented the award. Nathan Phillips, senior district executive for the Pine Tree District of the Central Minnesota Council spoke about the trail to Eagle.
“I almost wish they didn’t call it a trail because it doesn’t stop when you achieve your Eagle,” Phillips said. He said that the drive a young man needs to achieve his goal, especially with the Eagle service project, teaches a scout to be resourceful.
“Scouting is about being resourceful,” Phillips said quoting Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of scouting.
Oldham exemplified leadership in both scouting as the troop’s senior patrol leader and in class and student body offices during high school, said Dennis Howard, the leader of the young men’s organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that sponsors Troop 44.
Oldham is currently a student at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and the son of Douglas and Laura Oldham.
“Every Eagle will tell you they had multiple people behind them, including scoutmasters, leaders and parents,” Oldham said in his response to the award. “My parents helped me in a strange way; they never stopped nagging me. I needed a little bit of nagging.”
“An Eagle Scout achievement truly is a family event, a family project. It wouldn’t happen without them encouraging you,” said Jeffrey Howard, bishop of the Brainerd Ward of the church said in closing remarks.