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Leadership and participation earn Crouse boys Troop of the Year title

Members of Crouse’s Troop 87 aren’t just good Boy Scouts, together they make up Troop of the Year.
“I was surprised,” said Eric Rayfield, 16, of the win. “But I knew we earned it.”
The Heartland District Piedmont Council announced the troop’s win at a recognition banquet held March 1. The Heartland District is made up of Lincoln County, Cherryville, Mt. Holly and Stanley.
The troop earned the award based on participation in district activities, membership numbers and the number of members retained.
The fact the boys have a good time when they’re together also doesn’t hurt.
“It’s fun, and I get away from home and school,” said Zach Freeman, 11, of why he likes being a Boy Scout.
While together the boys learn about a variety of things – everything from plants to engineering.
“I just like that you can do a wide variety of things and never get bored,” said Erich Carpenter, 12.
The group dynamic also offers a lesson in leadership.
“It teaches the older boys to lead, and it serves as a role model for the younger boys,” said Charles Carpenter, scout master.
Carpenter has been involved off and on in Boy Scouts since he was a child.
“The day I got my Eagle Scout was the proudest day I ever had,” he said.
Since 1991, he was worked as a scout master. His 12-year-old son is a member of the troop, but he sees all the boys as kin.
“These boys are not just scouts to me,” he said. “They’re an extension of my family.”
Other winners at the Heartland District Piedmont Council’s Annual Recognition Banquet included:
Pack 59 Mt. Holly and Troop 323 Cherryville took home the Unit Finance Award.
Kevin Caldwell of Troop 323 Cherryville was named Assistant Scoutmaster of the Year.
Scott Beam of Troop 75 in Lincolnton was named Scoutmaster of the Year.
Richard Hoffman of Pack 49 Stanley was named Den Leader of the Year.
Michael Reeves of Pack 76 Howards Creek was named Weebelo Leader of the Year.
Bobby Humphrey of Pack 73 Boger City was named Assistant Cubmaster of the Year.
Debbie Heafner of Pack 87 Crouse was named Cubmaster of the Year.
Pack 81 Northbrook was named Pack of the Year.
Joe Southards, assistant scoutmaster of Troop 87 Crouse, and Mike Strader, unit commissioner and OA chapter advisor, were given the District Award of Merit.
Scout Troop 87 and Cub Pack 87 are sponsored by Crouse United Methodist Church.
by Sarah Grano

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