Emery and White earn Scout's highest rank, Pack 92 names Family of the Year

From left, Laura, Rene, Steven and Timothy White receive their awards for “Scouting Family of the Year” from Arlington Boys Scouts of America Troop 92, March 17. - KIRK BOXLEITNER The Arlington Times
From left, Laura, Rene, Steven and Timothy White receive their awards for “Scouting Family of the Year” from Arlington Boys Scouts of America Troop 92, March 17.
— image credit: KIRK BOXLEITNER The Arlington Times

ARLINGTON Kyle Emery and Steven White were recently named the latest Eagle Scouts of Arlington Boys Scouts of America Troop 92, while White's family was also named "Scouting Family of the Year" by Troop 92.

Emery's scouting career began at the age of six, when he joined the Cub Scouts in Marysville.

"It was just something to do," said Emery, who nonetheless stuck with the program, even when he transferred to Arlington and moved on up to Boy Scouts.

"I made a lot of friends," Emery said. "That was the main reason I stayed in the Cub Scouts. By the time I was in Boy Scouts, it was also about camping outdoors, cooking meals in the woods with my pals and getting away from it all for a while."

Emery enjoyed activities such as hiking and fishing, as well as learning both survival and leadership skills.

Emery's Eagle Scout project allowed him to develop other skills, albeit on behalf of an unorthodox cause.

"I built three large bat-houses, mounted on 20-foot poles, and installed them on the nature trail of Pioneer Elementary School," Emery said. "I figured the students could study the bats for science classes."

Emery estimated that his actual labor time lasted a month, carrying out his work during the weekends, but he admitted that he began assembling materials for the project, including plywood sheets, before it was officially approved.

Emery enlisted the aid of fellow Scouts, as many as three at a time, to construct the bat-houses, each of which not only measures three feet wide and four feet tall, but also contains six chambers in which the bats can rest.

"Bats tend to roost in the area from the spring to the fall," Emery said. "They enjoy having their roosts warmed by the morning sun, so the bat-houses face east. I had to take a nail and scratch the wood on the inside, to give them a rough surface to hang onto."

Emery's other considerations included bats' preference for roosts higher than 16 feet and near sources of water.

"I didn't really know a lot about bats before I started researching them," Emery said. "I also talked to the school's science director and principal, and to City Hall, to make sure my permits cleared."

Steven White's Eagle Scout project was a bit more down to earth, literally, since he and an average of five to eight fellow Scouts spent four weekends building six picnic tables, five of which went to Heroes Park.

"The sixth picnic table went to the family that gave us the facilities to create the other five," said Rene White, Steve's father.

Each table measures 10 feet long and six feet wide, and features smooth, rounded edges, and Rene emphasized they were made under adult supervision.

"He's always trying to be like me," laughed Timothy White, Steve's older brother, to explain why Steve joined the Scouts in the first place.

With a family as steeped in scouting as Steven's, it might seem like a foregone conclusion that he'd become a Scout, too.

Tim joined the Scouts at the age of seven, and doesn't even remember that inspired him to do so, but he went on to become an Eagle Scout himself in 2001, and is currently serving as an assistant Scout master of Troop 92.

"I liked camping, meeting people, having fun and hanging out," said Tim, who's showed the Webelos of Pack 92 how to change oil. "Now it's something I do to see other kids start what I finished. It's so cool to see them go through those experiences, and to be able to help them out."

Tim and Steve's father was the next one to join the Scouts, starting as an assistant cub master 15 years ago.

"I liked doing things with the kids," said Rene, who's now serving as Scout master of Troop 92. "I got to watch the pack grow, from hardly any boys to 40 or 50. I've watched my boys grow up through the ranks of scouting and I still enjoy hiking and camping myself."

Laura White, Tim and Steve's mother, finally got involved with the Scouts around the same time as Steve, but has remained a den leader of Pack 92 for more than 11 years, long after her own boys graduated from the ranks of Webelos.

"I've enjoyed the fellowship," Laura said.

As for Steve, he's become an Eagle Scout and an assistant Scout master of Troop 92, just like his brother, whom he jokingly blames for "dragging me in" to scouting.

"As a Cub Scout, I really looked forward to becoming a Boy Scout," Steve said. "As an assistant Scout master, I let the Scouts know what they should expect us to teach them, which is survival and leadership skills, and what we expect from them, which is to have fun."

"Scouting is a great way for kids to do something outside of school that benefits their community," Emery said.

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