Aiden Joseph Bernard of Hurricane received scouting’s highest honor, the Eagle Scout badge, in a Court of Honor ceremony held on Sunday, March 7, at his church, Winfield Baptist. Aiden is a member of Boy Scout Troop 236 of Hurricane. Aiden’s achievements over the course of his journey to Eagle Scout were recognized at the ceremony. His mother, Amber, presented him with the Eagle Badge, and he, in turn, presented her with an Eagle Mother pin. He presented an Eagle tie tack to his father, Joe.
The Marine Corps League William B. Fulks Detachment #1474 presented Aiden with a good citizenship award, and the American Legion Post 187 presented Aiden with a certificate of appreciation. West Virginia State Senator Glen Jefferies thanked Aiden for his community service as a Boy Scout, and discussed famous Eagle Scouts. Jefferies presented Aiden with a certificate of recognition from the Senate, as well as a retired West Virginia state flag which flew over the State Capital in Charleston.
For his Eagle Scout project, Aiden created a gaga pit for dodgeball at Camp Appalachia, a Scott Depot-based camp operated by Church in the Depot. A gaga pit is a wooden octagon where players can play a variant of dodgeball. One of the rules of the game is that players can only hit each other below the knees. This is meant to be more inclusive for smaller players than regular dodgeball.
Camp Appalachia was formerly known as Camp Happy Valley, and had been owned by the Salvation Army. Church in the Depot bought the camp, renamed it, and renovated it. Part of the renovations included the gaga pit. Camp Appalachia is a day camp for youth who have been affected by the drug epidemic.
Over the course of his scouting career, Aiden earned many merit badges. Other projects which he was involved in included assisting the Department of Natural Resources with replacing the boardwalk at the Green Bottom Wildlife Management Area on Route 2 in Glenwood.
Aiden says that what he enjoyed the most on his Eagle Scout journey was the knowledge he gained. He learned a lot over the course of his scouting career, such as safety skills, white water rafting skills, camping knowledge, and an understanding of the woods and water. “How to appreciate nature and use it to benefit our lives,” he said.
Aiden will continue scouting as a Junior Assistant Scout Leader, and he will continue in the Order of the Arrow, a scouting honor society. After graduating from high school, he plans to go to Morgantown, where he will major in mechanical engineering at West Virginia University.