He is an outgoing member of Troop 39, sponsored by the Calhoun Rotary Club. Roy C. Mears Jr., Scoutmaster, presided at the ceremony.
Travis is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Fitzwater of Calhoun. He is a 2011 honor graduate of Sonoraville High School, where he played tackle on the football team and was active in the Beta Club and the Spanish Honor Society. His is currently a freshman at Dalton State University majoring in pre-engineering. He hopes to become a chemical engineer.
The prestigious Eagle award is the highest rank in Scouting and is earned by only four Scouts out of 100. Travis earned the Arrow of Light, the highest award in Cub Scouting, before joining Troop 39 in 2003. In his scouting career, he also earned the Historic Trails Award, the World Conservation Award, and the Mile Swim Award. He served 16 months in various troop leadership positions and completed 82 hours of community service projects in addition to those required for Eagle rank.
His Eagle service project was rebuilding the outdoor classroom at Tolbert Elementary School which had been destroyed by vandals. Travis organized and conducted a clean-up of the area, painting and landscaping, constructing raised flower beds, building a functional fish pond, and building a number of bird houses. As part of this project, he directed 46 members of the school’s ecology club, as well as both youth and adult volunteers, in several hundred man-hours of labor.
Besides earning 12 merit badges required for Eagle, in skills ranging from first aid and camping to citizenship and emergency preparedness, Travis earned 27 elective badges in subjects ranging from auto mechanics, archery, music, and pottery, to geology, entrepreneurship, and veterinary medicine – 39 badges in all. He has camped for 61 nights with Troop 39, hiked part of the Appalachian Trail, camped aboard the aircraft carrier Yorktown, and completed 325 different requirements in all. He officially became and Eagle Scout earlier this year, but the award was presented November 19.
Mr. Roy C. Mears Jr. Scoutmaster of Troop 39 presided at the Special Eagle Scout Court of Honor. Acting Senior Patrol Leader Colin Faulkner and Troop 39 Scouts provided the color guard and guards of honor for the recipient and guests. The Reverend Brian Anderson, pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church, gave the invocation and benediction.
Mr. Richard Deems, of Mountain City, Tenn., former Scout and Scoutmaster, and grandfather of the new Eagle Scout, made the keynote presentation on the importance of Scouting to the community and the nation. He stated that, while only 4 percent of Scouts become Eagles, more than half of all Scouts go on to serve in the military, and fully three quarters of community, state, and national civic leaders have had Scouting experience.
Tyron Johnson, of Calhoun, a member of the Troop 39 Committee, gave the address, “Who is an Eagle Scout?” and Eagle Scout Bret Mears, outgoing member of Troop 39, gave the Eagle Charge and Eagle Pledge. Terrie Fitzwater presented the Eagle Medal to her son, who then presented Mears with the “Mentor” Award, for being the person who helped him most in his Scouting experience. He thanked others who helped him along the way as well.
Scoutmaster Mears closed with a Scoutmaster’s Minute in which he lauded the high rate of achievement by Troop 39 Scouts in Travis’s year group. Of eight Scouts who entered the troop with him, Travis is the 4th to achieve the highest rank.