ISLAND FALLS, Maine — It was an afternoon of commendations and awards for the accomplishments that led to Richard J. Kimball Jr. attaining the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America — Eagle Scout.
Kimball’s family, friends, fellow Scouts and even a couple of state legislators filled the Big Valley Sno Club for the ceremony on Jan. 9.
The 18-year-old said he hoped to remain in Scouting and even become a Scoutmaster. “If it weren’t for Scouting, I would not be where I am and what I am.”
His Eagle Scout project was to create signs for two historic potato house buildings in downtown Island Falls.
Jeff Brooks, Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 202 who presented Kimball with the Eagle Scout award and a bronze pin, said the young man is “exemplary, top-of-the-line. He went from quiet and shy to outgoing.” His project, Brooks said, “showed leadership and turned out excellent” because he designed the project and delegated work. “He was the head of a corporation and the others were the employees.”
For his work on his Eagle project, Fred Anderson presented Kimball with a commendation on behalf of the Island Falls Historical Society. Letters of congratulations also came from Robert Mazzuca, the chief Scout executive of the Boy Scouts of America, as well as the Katahdin Area Council of the Boy Scouts.
State Rep. Ricky Long, R-Sherman, read a letter signed by members of the 125th Legislature and entered into the official record. Long also read a letter from U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe that said, in part, “your skills will benefit you and our nation.” Long commented before reading his own letter and one from state Rep. Joyce Fitzpatrick, R-Houlton, that no one ever had a bad word to say about Kimball.
John Cannon, in full regalia, presented the new Eagle Scout with a letter from the Sons of the Civil War commending him for his accomplishments.
Pastor Richard Carver of County Road Baptist Church has known Kimball for about 10 years. He had commented earlier on how the young man embodied Scout characteristics described in the candle-lighting ceremony: being loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind to animals and people, obedient to parents and the Scoutmaster, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.
Melanie Lainey, Kimball’s mother, said earning the rank of Eagle Scout is “very difficult, and many don’t finish. Ricky is very dedicated. When he sets his mind to something, he goes all the way and I knew he would do it from Day One.”