Nicholas Donald Choate, of Albion and China, member of China Troop #479, accomplished something less than four percent of all Scouts achieve. On Sunday, November 19, 2023, Nick received the Eagle Scout rank during a ceremony at the China Masonic Lodge and also the Bronze Palm for earning five additional merit badges beyond those required. The ceremony focused on how Eagle Scouts are encouraged to live with honor so as to reflect the very best of Scouting in their interactions with others.
Julie Bradstreet, Nick’s mom, pinned the Eagle Scout medal on her son’s uniform marking his attainment of the high honor. Afterwards she said, “Nicholas joined Scouts as a Tiger Cub in first grade. Today we celebrated him at his Eagle Court of Honor. To say we are proud of his accomplishments is a huge understatement. Thank you so much to everyone that helped and attended.” Parents and step-parents, Rick and Stephanie Bryant, of China, and Rick and Julie Bradstreet, of Albion, were instrumental in his success.
Lee Pettengill, who is a leader in Troop #479 and a member of the Masonic Lodge, served as Master of Ceremonies. “The pathway to Eagle can be described as a steep trail leading up to three peaks. Officially, the trail starts with the Tenderfoot rank and continues through Second and First Class ranks. Then, the mountain climbing begins. The path is marked with merit badges, leadership responsibilities, service projects, and the practice of Scouting skills and ideals. The first peak reached is that of Star Scout, the second is Life Scout, and, finally, Eagle Scout.”
Kaiden Sawyer Kelley, who received his Eagle badge in June 2022, took part in the ceremony and said, “The first responsibility of an Eagle Scout is to live with honor. Honor is the foundation of character: it is what a person really is, down inside, not what someone may think they are.” He encouraged Nick to always live with honor and later added, ” The final responsibility of an Eagle Scout is service. The motto of “Do a Good Turn Daily” must take on a new meaning. They uphold the rights of others while defending their own. Their code of honor is based upon the belief that leadership is founded upon real service.”
For his Eagle Scout service project, Nick led others last December in building and installing three new information kiosks around China for the China Four Seasons Club.
Troop #479 presented Nick with a copy of the book Running Toward Danger, by Michael Malone, and a check for $100 for remaining active in the Troop through his 18th birthday. Nick graduated from Erskine Academy, in South China, in the spring and is working in construction for Kirk Sherman Builders, in Palermo. He completed all requirements prior to turning 18 last March but remained active as a leader of the other Scouts.
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