Shelby Division Scout Chris Tanner earns Eagle Scout badge
Published 2:18 pm Monday, December 7, 2015
By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer
HOOVER—About five out of every 100 Boy Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Chris Tanner joined this scant 5 percent, earning the highest rank in Boy Scouting on Dec. 6.
Surrounded by friends, family and fellow Shelby District Scouts, Tanner received his Eagle Scout badge during an Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony at the Hoover Public Library Theatre.
“I was just so proud to get the call to attend this Eagle Scout ceremony,” said David Craig, Tanner’s first cub master who traveled from Mobile for the event. “Every boy has aspirations of being an Eagle Scout, but a lot of them are not up for the challenges. I must tell (Chris) I’m proud that he’s stayed the course. It means (he) set a lofty goal and achieved it.”
Becoming an Eagle Scout is not easy. In addition to progressing through each rank, a Scout must earn 21 merit badges, serve six months in a troop leadership position, take part in a scoutmaster conference and complete an independent service project.
Tanner earned 31 merit badges, spent 62 nights camping and held five different leadership roles during his Boy Scout career.
Tanner chose to do his service project at Jessie’s Place, a women’s and children’s shelter run by the Jimmie Hale Mission. He first considered doing a Habitat for Humanity project, but realized the projects were already pre-planned.
“I wanted to do something that I could spearhead myself,” Tanner said.
Tanner refurbished the kitchen cabinets at Jessie’s Place. The project required extensive planning and a lot of manual labor. Tanner and a group of volunteers removed, sanded, painted, cleaned and reconnect each piece of the cabinets.
“It was really hectic,” Tanner recalled with a laugh, noting the most difficult part was getting volunteers “collected and getting everyone on the right page.”
After a week of work, the kitchen cabinets were transformed from outdated wood to a refreshed white.
“They use (the new cabinets) for basically everything, for all pantry needs,” Tanner said.
Earning the Eagle Scout is a point of pride for Tanner, a freshman at UAB.
“It was a lot of work,” Tanner said. “It means a lot, it means I have respect. It’s a cool new way that people look at me now.”