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Troop 79 Alum Achieves OA‘s Highest Honor

It’s always exciting to hear from past members of Troop 79 who have kept Scouting in their lives. As our Scoutmaster Mr. Keats is fond of saying, the Eagle ceremony isn’t a retirement party! Read on to hear what’s up with past SPL Elijah Greiner.

“When I first joined scouting as a Webelos Scout, I probably wouldn’t have imagined that I would still be involved with the program eleven years later at age 20. 

I definitely enjoyed my time in Cub Scouts, but it was not until fifth grade, when I joined Troop 79, that I began to realize how much more there was to scouting than what Cub Scouts had to offer. My Cub Scout pack didn’t “feed” into any Scout troop, so — at the time — earning the Arrow of Light felt more like the denouement of my scouting career than the first step down a trail that would eventually lead me through the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, the wilderness of Canada, and so many other adventures along the way! 

I was left, then, to seek out a Scout troop on my own. It was intimidating. Many of the boys were much older than me and I knew nobody at first, but continuing scouting beyond Cub Scouts was the best decision of my life! The years went by, I learned new skills, grew more confident from my experience, had a blast at Camp Blackhawk each summer, and somewhere along the line was elected into the Order of the Arrow: scouting’s “Brotherhood of Cheerful Service”.

Active service in the OA was never high on my interests. I loved scouting for the carefree romps through the woods on weekend campouts and the grand adventures at Northern Tier, Okpik, Philmont, and Sea Base. I had no interest in such formal events as OA chapter elections, winter banquets, or section conclaves. Maybe I never knew what I was missing. 

As a member of the OA, however, I also was contacted to assist in crossover ceremonies for Cub Scouts receiving their Arrow of Light award, with an emphasis on the transition from Webelos to Scouts. It was at these events that my passion for scouting — or, more specifically, not wanting any Cub Scout to lose interest before discovering what scouting really has to offer — met with my interest in storytelling before large groups.

I volunteered for every crossover ceremony I could attend, which I performed alongside other Troop 79 Scouts. After doing it enough, I inevitably learned the lines for each role. So, when I couldn’t find anybody to join me to perform at a Blue and Gold Banquet in 2017, I performed the whole ceremony solo (taking my own liberties to make the four parts cohesive). When I staffed at Camp Blackhawk in 2018, my practice at crossover ceremonies made me an integral member of the OA ceremonialist team there. 

At the time, I hardly imagined that my enthusiasm and dedication to performing these solemn rites-of-passage would earn me nomination to Vigil, the highest distinction of scouting’s National Honor Society. After all, I scarcely involved myself in OA business outside of the ceremonies. But — as time continues to prove — the more you put into scouting, the more you get out of it. As an Eagle Scout, seasonal employee of the BSA, and now a Vigil member of the Order of the Arrow, I can attest that scouting continues to be a gift that keeps on giving.”

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