By CHRIS EDENS
Oologah senior Luke Stringer has earned his Eagle Scout badge, the highest rank possible in the Boy Scouts.
Stringer received his badge during an Eagle Scout ceremony Feb. 10.
“Luke has been pursuing his Eagle Scout for several years. He’s an outstanding young man. He’s very adaptable and persistent in achieving his goals,” said Troop #199 Scoutmaster Tod Estes.
Stringer joined the Cub Scouts in second grade and became a Boy Scout at age 11.
“After a decade in scouting why not strive for the highest honor,” Stringer said. “It was a personal goal but my family and my scouting family wanted me to do it too.”
Stringers older brother, Will, is also an Eagle Scout. Their mother, Shelley Stringer, is an assistant scoutmaster for Troop #199.
Stringer said he wanted to follow in his brother’s scouting footsteps.
“I’ve always really liked being outdoors and I would tag along with Will and my Mom to scout activities. It was just a lot of fun,” Stringer said.
It’s no easy task to earn the honor of Eagle Scout. Stringer had to be active in his troop, demonstrate that he lives by the Scout oath and serve in a position of responsibility.
One of the more difficult requirements is earning 21 merit badges. Stringer said he really enjoyed earning his whitewater badge in kayaking and canoeing at Camp Tom Hale in Talahina.
“It was exciting and it was fun but it’s all safe because the Boy Scouts are all about safety,” Stringer said.
Roughing it in the woods might not appeal to most people, but Stringer said he also had fun earning his wilderness survival badge.
Stringer was only equipped with the bare essentials such as a knife and matches. He had to camp out for the night and be totally self sufficient.
The biggest requirement for Stringer was completing an Eagle Scout project. Stringer made improvements to the Cherokee Nation fitness and nature trail behind the Oologah Lower Elementary.
Stringer did landscaping around the trail and installed a large metal ring for a fire pit. The metal was donated and Stringer researched a design for the ring.
Stringer worked with JOM Coordinator Cindy Dietz to find an appropriate Native American phrase and symbols for the fire ring.
He chose the Cherokee phrase “Building one fire.”
“It seemed appropriate for a fire pit and bringing the community together,” he said. “A lot of people don’t realize the trail isn’t just for students. It’s for the whole community and it’s another place to walk other than the track at the stadium.”
Stringer plans on becoming an architect. He said planning a project from start to finish was good training.
“It was good to go from getting the idea in your head and making it happen,” Stringer said. “The Eagle project takes a lot of planning and a lot of diligence. You just have to stick with it but it’s worth it 100 percent.”