Nathan Arno became an Eagle Scout during a Court of Honor ceremony Saturday afternoon at the Morenci American Legion post.
Nathan overcame the challenge of Down Syndrome to earn Scouting’s top award.
“It’s truly an honor to have Nathan in our Scout troop,” said Assistant Scoutmaster Chris Blaker. “He’s opened the eyes of our other Scouts.”
Nathan made many friends during his Scouting career that started in Tiger Cubs, Blaker said, he was like a brother to the other boys.
All 10 people in the audience who earned the Eagle Scout rank stood and reaffirmed their oaths. Nathan’s parents, Bob and Kathy, were introduced and received parental Eagle pins from their son.
Nathan’s sister, Sara, read a portion of the Eagle Poem and two mentors were honored: Jackie Wittscheck from the Sylvan Learning Center and Nathan’s Aunt Marcy Loop.
A special presentation was made in honor of Joanna Janish, wife of Scoutmaster Lester Janish, who died Friday.
Joanna was actively involved with the Scouting program for years and was described as a great encourager in helping Nathan progress through the ranks. A candle was left burning throughout the ceremony in Joanna’s honor.
Bob Heskett of Saline, who served as a Scoutmaster at a camp Nathan attended, presented the Eagle neckerchief. Heskett told Nathan what his Scoutmaster told him at his own Eagle ceremony: “Today you’re given an award for what you’ve done in the past; you’ll spend the rest of your life earning it.”
Nathan’s father, Bob, said that his son’s accomplishments are the result of the other troop members helping Nathan through the years.
“The Scouts always made room for Nathan and made sure he was part of every activity,” said Lester Janish after the ceremony. “They learned as much from him as he did from them.”
• Four members of Morenci’s Troop 681 have graduated from high school and new Scouts are sought. Any boy at least in fifth grade or 11 years and older is welcome to join. For information, all Kathy Arno at 517/458-2387.