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Swansea teen presented with Boy Scouting’s highest honor

Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – Hunter Noah Hackett was presented with the rank of Eagle Scout, the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank, on Saturday during a Court of Honor presentation at Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church in Lexington. Hackett is a native of the Swansea area and the son of Suzanne and Kevin Hackett.

There were well over 100 other Boy Scouts in attendance at the ceremony in the large auditorium behind the church which was at standing room only capacity. Of those scouts in attendance, more than 40 themselves had earned the rank of Eagle; an extraordinary amount given the fact that only a fraction of scouts obtain the honor. Just before Hunter received his Eagle Scout medal, all the Eagle Scouts were called to the front of the room to surround him in a “Nest” of Eagles. Then, his medal passed through the hands of each who were asked to say their names and the year and council in which they received their honor. There were Eagles in attendance from all across the nation and of every age who came to see this extraordinary young man be honored for his many accomplishments.

During his Scouting career, Hunter has held many positions of leadership and earned many honors. He has earned an astounding 50 Scout Merit Badges, is a Vigil Member of the Order of the Arrow, has been to several national leadership trainings, and held six different leadership rolls in his troop. Additionally, he has been the lodge chief, vice-chief of program, treasurer, service chairman, brotherhood chairman, and vice-chief of the section in his home OA lodge and the regional’s section. During his Eagle ceremony, Hunter was also presented with the Marine Corps League’s Good Citizen’s Award by David Rumel, USMC retired.

During the court of honor, many people spoke of Hunter’s natural leadership ability. He began running for positions of leadership almost immediately after becoming involved in the scouting organizations he participates in. His peers, young men his own age, spoke of what a great job he does at any task he’s assigned. Adults who have and do know him in scouting said Hunter was a Scout that never gave them trouble, but instead was always an asset, a problem solver they could turn to when they need someone they could trust would do a good job.

Although the entire ceremony and reception were all done flawlessly and beautifully, the most moving portion came when it was time for Hunter to give an award himself. Each scout has an opportunity to give mentor pins to people who have made a huge difference in their lives and their scouting careers. One of those Hunter presented posthumously was to his maternal grandfather, the former Representative Ken Clark who passed last year. He pinned the mentor’s pin on his grandmother, Joanne “Mamma Jo” Clark who stood in for his grandfather while describing the great relations that he had with his grandfather. He spoke of the long talks they had together and his grandfather’s urging him to seek the highest heights, in this case,the rank of Eagle Scout. When he was through, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

When the ceremony was all over, Hunter said he was honored to have had so many friends and acquaintances attend the ceremony. He was humble in his reaction to all the accolades. In the future, it appears that we may see more great things about this young man as he graduates high school, chooses to serve his country in the military, and then returns to serve the citizens here or wherever he chooses to call home. That, without a doubt, is almost a certainty.

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