NEWBERRY — Tanner Worthington, 18, has recently reached the rank of Eagle Scout, which is the ultimate goal of all Boy Scouts. Worthington is a member of Troop One, and has been a part of the Troop since he was in fifth grade.
“I was 10 1/2 when I joined, you really have to be 11 when you join the Boy Scouts, but I was in fifth grade and I was just about to turn 11 so they said you can go ahead,” he said. “That was in November 2010, I decided to join because it seemed interesting, being outdoors, I always had a passion for the outdoors, seemed like it would be interesting, so I figured the Boy Scouts might be for me.”
During his time in the Scouts, Worthington has earned 38 badges. The last badges he earned were the Citizenship in the Community, Family Life and Personal Management badges, he said he earned them all around the same time.
“My most memorable badge was probably my first badge I ever earned, the tracking merit badge, went out in 2010, which was the 100 year anniversary. I had my scout master come out to my house and he helped me identify different animal tracks, and easy ways to identify them,” Worthington said. “He just made it very fun, very interesting.”
In order to become an Eagle Scout, which is the highest rank in the Boy Scouts, Worthington said he had to advance through the ranks, beginning with his Scout Badge.
“Which is easy, it is just remembering Scout Law, and some other basic things,” he said.
From there, Worthington had to earn Tenderfoot rank, Second Class, First Class, then Star and Life ranks. Each step had different objectives, from earning a certain number of merit badges to learning about drug and alcohol safety.
“For Eagle, you have to plan and carry out a service project that benefits the community. I did a blood drive at Newberry High School. We ended up having 36 people donate, and all 36 pints were used to help save lives,” Worthington said. “Interesting fact, a pint of blood can save up to three lives.”
Worthington knew he wanted to impact the community in other ways other than building park benches or trail maintenance. He said he wanted to do something different.
“I heard of another Eagle Scout out of Pomaria, he did a blood drive, and he didn’t get as much blood as me, but it worked out very well. I thought that was pretty interesting, and I might as well make that my Eagle Project,” he said.
Worthington officially became an Eagle Scout on December 14, and the ceremony was held on February 18. He said the time he has spent as a Scout has meant a lot to him, and has taught him valuable skills.
“From first aid to climbing, to just a whole bunch of different skills that can be used everyday. For example, if you are in a situation like we were on Mother’s Day 2013, knowing basic first aid can save a person’s life,” he said. “All these things you can earn and translate to everyday life, and make yourself into a better citizen.”
Worthington has enlisted in the Army, and with his Eagle Scout rank and having four years of ROTC, will put him a rank ahead of everyone else.
“To me, an Eagle Scout rank shows you are dedicated to something and you are willing to commit 100 percent and see it through to the very end and ultimately reach your goal,” he said.
Worthington said he will miss the camaraderie from the Scouts. He said you make a lot of friends, not only from your troop, but with Scouts you meet around the state.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.