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Ceremony honors outgoing Fredonia scoutmaster

Fredonia Boy Scout Troop 267, sponsored by American Legion Post 59 in Fredonia, held a virtual Court of Honor and ceremony to honor Scoutmaster Thomas Annear as he passed the torch to new Scoutmaster James Stenger.

Annear served as Troop 267 Scoutmaster from 2017 to 2020 and as assistant scoutmaster from 2013 to 2017. In his last three years as Scoutmaster, 77% of the scouts have advanced in rank, 11 Life scouts are working towards their Eagle Scout designation and eight scouts earned their Eagle Scout rank, the highest rank in scouting. Over the past 12 months, Troop 267 scouts, has cumulatively camped for 480 days, hiked 225 miles and completed 391 hours of service.

He has taken scouts to summer camp every year, in addition to monthly weekend camping. During his tenure he helped lead groups of scouts to camp at Elk Lick Scout Reserve, Camp Massawepie in the Adirondacks, Letchworth State Park, the Civil War Camporee, Camp Babcock-Hovey on Seneca Lake, Camp Cutler, Camp Merz in Mayville, Camp Gross in Cassadaga and the Woodstock International Camporee in Woodstock, Ontario.

The virtual Court of Honor ceremony began with Senior Patrol Leader TJ Ackley leading the Pledge of Allegiance, the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. chaplain Walt Sedlmayer followed with an opening prayer. Committee chairperson Cynthia Smith welcomed the scouts and their families. Scout awards, rank advancements, service stars and 58 Merit Badges were given out by Scoutmaster Thomas Annear and Senior Patrol Leader, TJ Ackley.

Isaac Willimas advanced to Life Scout. Four scouts received the rank of Star: Samuel Bowers, Ryan Proffitt, Jack Spengler and Cooper Stenger. Jackson Gollnitz advanced to Second Class. Tenderfoot rank was received by Devin Batten. Reed Beckley, Charlie Cinque, Alexander Cramer, Aiden Gorka, Trent Krenzer, Adam Lukach and Jazz Witkowski all advanced to Scout rank. Eagle Scout rank was earned by Calder Annear.

Merit badges were awarded to TJ Ackley, Joseph Bowers, Samuel Bowers, Matthew Brown, Jackson Gollnitz, Cortland Lehnen, Colden Noody, Hunter Noody, Ryan Proffitt, Riley Smith Mallon, Jack Spengler, Cooper Stenger, Ledreth Velez-Olmo, Lenieith Velez-Olmo and Isaac Williams.

Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (ILST) Awards were presented to Calder Annear, Charli Callen, Colden Noody, Conor Clary, Cooper Stenger, Hunter Noody, Isaac Williams, Jack Spengler, Ledreth Velez-Olmo, Lenieth Velez-Olmo, Miles Callen, Natasha Kemp, Riley Smith Mallon, Sam Bowers and TJ Ackley.

Thomas Annear was presented the BSA Unit Leader Award of Merit by Doug Cashing, council commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America Allegheny Highland Council. The Unit Leader Award of Merit is presented to unit leaders who encourage troops to be strong and viable by attaining seven benchmark characteristics. To commemorate his achievement, Annear was awarded a plaque, certificate, a knot for his uniform and a virtual slide show presentation of his time with Troop 267 over the years.

Normally, Troop 267 meets Mondays at 7 p.m. at Memorial Post 59, 156 E. Main St., Fredonia, and is open to all boys and girls who are at least 11 years of age or have completed the fifth grade. For more information, visit sites.google.com/site/bsatroop267fredoniany and can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Troop267Fredonia.

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