Tuesday, September 22, 2009

John Delbert Swann III

Caswell native named Eagle Scout during ceremony

John Delbert Swann, III, of Blanch, NC was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, Boy Scouting's highest honor, in a ceremony held May 3, 2009 at the historical Caswell County Courthouse in Yanceyville, NC. John is a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 300, sponsored by Mount Vernon United Methodist Church in Danville, Va. Scoutmaster Jesse Wyatt, II, presided over the ceremony where members of the troop reflected on John's trail to becoming an Eagle Scout.

The rank of Eagle Scout is achieved by only two percent of all the boys who join the scouting program. It is the scout's responsibility to coordinate activity with the sponsoring organization, carry out all planning, fund raising, procuring all materials necessary to complete the project, and meet the approval of the organization, his troop's leadership, and the district's approval team. With the help of Pat Ewalt of the Caswell Horticulture Club, John determined the wording, size, number and placement of five wrought iron directional signs to be placed at the historical Caswell County Courthouse gardens. John raised the funds for his project from donations and by selling bluebird houses he and his parents built from red cedar. Pete and Eric Keck of Keck Logging furnished the red cedar lumber needed for the bluebird houses. The metal framework and scrolls were created by John and his parents. John worked with Power Signs of Danville, Va. to manufacture the wording of the signs. Under John's leadership, members of Troop 300 and family and friends gathered at the Courthouse to install the signs. To compliment the garden signs, John also designed a brochure for a self-guided walking tour of the gardens. The brochure is available at the historical Caswell County Courthouse and from a kiosk located on the fence. John spent a total of 158 hours on his project.

John's scouting career began in 1998 with Cub Scout Pack 325 of Yanceyville. As a Webelo scout, John earned all 20 of the activity badges and received Webelo's highest award, the Arrow of Light. In 2002, John "crossed over" to Yanceyville Boy Scout Troop 390, and later transferred his membership to Troop 300. While a member of Troop 300, John served as Assistant Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Quartermaster, Assistant Sr. Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader. Along the way, John also earned 25 merit badges; 21 are required for Eagle. In 2006, John was inducted into scouting's National Honor Society, the Order of the Arrow. Ten months after being inducted, he sealed his membership in the OA as a Brotherhood Honor member. John also enjoyed working for four summers at the Blue Ridge Scout Reservation in Hiwassee, Va. His duties ranged from dining hall steward, waterfront lifeguard, scout craft instructor, Brown Sea Island Guide, office assistant and zip-line assistant.

John is a 2009 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Bartlett Yancey High School. He was elected Senior Class President, ran cross-country, played varsity soccer for four years and was a member of the Student Government Association, Beta Club, and FFA. Along with his school and scouting responsibilities, John volunteered for his church, Purley United Methodist Church and worked at Caswell Pines Golf Course. John is currently at North Carolina State University where he is majoring in Engineering.

John is the son of Bud and Shelly Swann of Blanch, NC and the grandson of Delbert Swann and the late Nancy Payne Swann.