Westlake student elected Boy Scout of the year for district

Ted Anderson with chairman Craig Dalton.

Ted Anderson with chairman Craig Dalton.

He started out playing hide and seek in Cub Scouts, advanced up the ranks to become an Eagle Scout, backpacked 100 miles at one of the high adventure scout ranch Philmont in the New Mexican mountains To the current day, being elected Boy Scout of the Year. Senior Ted Anderson goes above and beyond in his scouting career.

“If I had to pick one thing that has changed me the most it would be scouting,” Ted said. “I know as a little kid it was one of my favorite activities. It started out as just being a fun activity I did with friends. Then as I got older, I started committing more to helping out and doing various leadership positions [within the troop]. Boy Scouts gave me a sense of responsibility. I had to learn that you have to stick to a plan, especially when working with others. You have to tell them, ‘We are going to do this now and this certain way.’ It taught me how to publicly speak and to understand how to talk face to face with other scouts and adult leaders.”

Ted was elected Boy Scout of the Year from the Capitol Area Council district on Jan. 16. This award is a relatively new addition that was added to the district just this year. Out of the 5359 scouts in the district, he was chosen for this award, which recognizes scouts that go above and beyond in their community, troop and demonstrate the scout oath and law. The scout oath and law goes like this: “On my honor I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country, to obey the scout law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight. A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”

“[Being elected Boy Scout of the Year] was kept secret from me,” Ted said. “I didn’t apply for the award. Behind my back, my scoutmaster, my father and some of the district board members recommended me and I was chosen. It was a surprise. Out of the blue they told me I was the district Boy Scout of the Year and I would be attending an award ceremony. Although it was a surprise, I put a lot of work in to earn this award. I think I greatly helped my troop and personally I feel that I have done an overall good job in my scouting career. I think I exemplify the characteristics of scouting in my daily life.”

During his career as Senior Patrol leader, Ted said that he would spend up to 20 hours a week organizing campouts, troop meetings and other events. He contributed numerous hours of public service, from going on truck runs at Mobile Loaves and Fishes, to spending a day working at a fellow Eagle Scouts’ project. Ted worked in depth with adult leaders and scouts of Troop 990, members of sister troops and even committee board members. All of these things contributed to being chosen.

“I felt proud to be chosen for this award,” Ted said. “Even though I have now aged out of scouts, since I am 18. I hope to continue my scouting career as a junior or assistant scoutmaster. Coming all the way from the rank of tiger cub, to being an eagle scout, there are still many opportunities left in scouting.”

There are two different levels of scouting. First there is Cub Scouts. The earliest someone can join is first grade and the longest someone can stay in Cub Scouts is fifth grade. Just like Boy Scouts, there are levels of ranks; starting with Tiger Cub, a scout can then advance to Wolf, Bear and then finally Webelo. Once a scout reaches the Webelo rank, he may proceed on to Boy Scouts. Once enrolled in Boy Scouts, the rankings go from Scout, First Class, Second Class, Star, Life and finally the ultimate honor of Eagle.

“When I first joined scouting, I didn’t really have deep motivations as a five or six-year-old, I got stuck in it by my parents,” Ted said. “Then when I matured and got older and learned what it meant to be in these organizations, I realized that this is something that I want to do and be a part of. Boy Scouts is about being with your friends and having fun. It’s about helping others and enjoying yourself. I had a lot of fun in both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and I hope to continue working with scouts in the future.”