For High School Junior and longtime Boy Scout Seth Black, working hard, serving the community and making a difference comes all too naturally — and he has a giant sash full of merit badges to prove it.
The 17-year-old Owasson is a longstanding member and the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader for Troop 98, which was chartered over 60 years ago and is the oldest troop in the region. In January, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout — the highest achievement attainable in the Boy Scouts of America — for his continuing efforts.
“It’s a very high honor,” said Black. “I’ve come a long way for it ... I had to do a lot to get here ... and I’m pretty proud I’ve come this far and earned it.”
Black started as a cub scout in first grade as part of pack 840 and steadily worked his way up to his strong influence and involvement in the organization today. Over the years, he has dedicated himself to making Owasso and the surrounding areas a better place with his unique passion and experience.
One such example is his Eagle Scout Service Project, where Black installed a flagpole last year for the First United Methodist Church of Owasso, Troop 98’s charter holder. From December 2014 to June 2015, he was required to plan, develop and raise funds for the project as well as provide leadership to others as part of earning an Eagle Scout title.
“I think it’s a really nice thing to have at the church,” said Black. “It’s a good symbol for us being proud to be Americans, and it’s in honor of the veterans as well.”
Pastor Chuck Horton with First United Methodist added, “He did a good job of leading it through. It really adds to the appeal of the church from the outside. It’s a beautiful location that he selected ... [and] it makes the church look good.”
In addition to attaining Eagle Scout status and carrying out his service project, Black was also honored with the Boy Scouts Religious P.R.A.Y (Program of Religious Activities by Youth) award by the Anglican Church of North America for completing all four levels of the program — him being one of only two Eagle Scouts in Oklahoma to earn the award.
Black has also earned nearly 40 merit badges that cover everything from camping to graphic arts to woodworking to emergency preparedness. With over 100 badges available to attain, each one represents a different area of knowledge and skill and provides scouts the opportunity to explore a new area to learn and master.
“I’ve learned a lot from all these,” said Black. “They’re all pretty diverse ... [and] I have quite a few that I like. Swimming was pretty fun. Astronomy was really neat to me; I did enjoy that one. Welding, that was another fun one. Cinematography, that was fun too.”
The Eagle Scout also received a number of congratulatory letters from Governor Mary Fallin, Representative Bridenstine, and Senators Inhofe and Lankford, as well as President Obama, Former President George W. Bush, Former President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush, and even actor Chuck Norris.
Black is currently attending Oklahoma Connections Academy in Bartlesville and plans to later attend either Tulsa Tech or Tulsa Community College to pursue a degree in computer work/technology. He also volunteers in missions at his church and continues to stay heavily involved with his scout troop as a member, close friend and leader.