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The Journey To Eagle


Eagle Scout  Hoyt Wesley Dingus

BSA Troop 747

Clintwood, Virginia



The journey to becoming an Eagle Scout is not an easy path.  You must be dedicated to the scouting way of life.  You must be diligent in earning all the prerequisite merit badges.  You must live a life of service to your Boy Scout Troop, church, and community.


You must persevere through all the ranks required to become an Eagle Scout, starting with Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and then finally the Eagle



Starting as a Scout in July of 1996, Hoyt accomplished many things he would not otherwise have achieved.  Attending Scouting Camp each year at Camp Davy Crockett he was able to earn many of the merit badges he now claims.  Hoyt was eventually was able to become employed by the Sequoyah Council of the Boy Scouts of America as an Eagle Bound Instructor, and help younger scouts achieve their merit badges in much the same manner that he received assistance.


Hoyt was chosen by his peers to become a member of the Order of the Arrow, a service organization for the Boy Scouts.  There are three different ranks in the Order of the Arrow as well; the Ordeal, Brotherhood and Vigil Honor Rank.  Vigil rank is only achieved by a few, and you are chosen for this honor by your Order of the Arrow brothers. Hoyt was awarded Vigil Honor Rank in the spring of 2002.  He feels that this honor is one of his greatest accomplishments aside from attaining the Eagle Rank.


Performing in a ceremonies team at NOAC (National Order of the Arrow Conference) Hoyt was awarded several medals for his performances, individually as well as a team.  NOAC is held every other year at different locations, usually at State Colleges.

In 2000, Hoyt’s team of 8 members brought back 19 medals, which was an amazing accomplishment.  His 8 team members tied the National record that year and presently is still the record. 


When Hoyt reached his Life ranking, he could begin planning his Eagle Project.  This project must benefit your community and you must have at least 100 working hours in this project, although many projects have several hundred hours invested from start to finish.


Wanting to have a project that would increase patriotism in our area, Hoyt spoke with Mr. Carl Mullins, at the Breaks Interstate Park, about possibly doing his project at the park itself.  Mr. Mullins stated that there was a need for a flag pole in Campground C, and it should be landscaped to blend in with environment, and in no way detract from the natural beauty of the surrounding campground.


And so Hoyt’s project began.  He was to erect a 30 foot flagpole, landscape approximately 250 square feet of area around the flagpole, using landscaping timbers, flowers, shrubs, woodchips and mulch.  The flagpole was placed in the center of the landscaped area, in full view of the overflow area of Campground C of the Breaks Interstate Park, providing a focal point for all who utilize this campground.


Since the 9-11-01 attacks of the World Trade Center, people of the United States have turned their hearts and minds to patriotism.  Part of that patriotism is to properly display the American Flag.  Hoyt’s Eagle Project provided a highly visible, open display of the American Flag, along with tasteful landscaping that not only preserves the integrity of the Breaks Interstate Park, but also enhances the beauty of the Campground.  All campers are reminded, every time they view the flag, of our great American Patriotism and the lives that were freely given for our freedom we now enjoy.


Various hand tools were used to clear the area, and power tools were used by adults only. Adult supervision was conducted at the project at all times for safety purposes of all the volunteers, which were many.  Their hours of work on this project could also be counted toward Hoyt’s 100 required hours.  There were over 300 total work hours in his project.


Hoyt is personally very proud of the project and of its beauty, which will enhance the camping area for many years in the future.


Those involved in the participation, planning and execution of this project were Hoyt, Tom Dingus, Curtis R. Mullins, Donna Friend, Susan Mullins, Shannon Mullins, Todd Stiltner, Tonya Stiltner, Samantha Blankenship, Jake Hagy, John Edwards, Jeremy Edwards, Holden Dingus, Roy Rife, Curtis Mullins, Jr., Joey Barnett, Ryan Mullins, Aaron McGlothlin, Daniel Sawyers, Josh Stewart, Jarrid Looney, Keith Friend, Connie Hay and Matt Belcher.  So you see that friendship and loyalty are huge assets of boy scouting.  You help each other to achieve your goals.


Materials utilized in this project were 18 – 8’ landscaping timbers, 10 bags of 3 cu foot mulch, 6 bags of 2 cu foot mulch, 6 bags marble chips, sand, cement, flowers, assorted nails/plastic sheeting/rebar and 10” thick pipe. Marble chip insignias of the state of Virginia and Kentucky were incorporated into the project design.  Stone from the local area was placed around the trees and flowers for added attractiveness and completeness of the project. The base of the flagpole was inlaid with local fieldstone and looked as if it were the base of a chimney.


Record keeping was also an important factor in completing the process for the Eagle.  Hoyt had to keep a record of all materials used, volunteer hours, and what was done each day of the project. 


After the project was approved by the Council and completed, Hoyt had to undergo an Eagle Board of Review, which is comprised of Scout Leaders who can question you on any subject and ask you to provide detailed answers about the project or any other facet of scouting life.


Once this board of review is over, and you have passed, and every “I” dotted and “T” crossed, you are finally approved for the Eagle Scout Rank.  Eagle Scout is the highest rank that can be attained by Scouts.  Only 2 percent of youth who join Scouting earn this Honor.


Hoyt feels humbled and honored to be included in this esteemed group.


An Eagle Court of Honor is then held, where you are then officially awarded the Eagle Ranking. You are honored by your peers, as well as given the opportunity to thank all of those who help you along your eagle path.


Hoyt’s Eagle Court of Honor will be held on November 2, 2002at 6:00 P.M. at the Clintwood United Methodist Church in Clintwood, Va.  His family invites family, friends, scouts and local officials.  His guest speaker will be Coach Mike Strouth, who is not only Hoyt’s track coach, and history teacher, but he served as a torch bearer for the 2000 Olympics. He has always encouraged Hoyt to be the best that he can be.


Hoyt’s Mother, Kathy Dingus, will sing a song of tribute to the Brothers of the Order of the Arrow.  Eagle Scout, Ryan Mullins will also honor the attendees with the ceremony of “The Legend” in full Indian dress. In addition to pinning his Mother and Father, Thomas Dingus, Hoyt also will choose to pin his “Granny” Rachel Mullins with an additional Mother’s Pin. His granny lives with them and is like a second mother to him and he loves her very much.  Hoyt and his friend Dusty Stallard will pay tribute to Hoyt’s namesake, his grandfather, James Hoyt Mullins, who was also a Scout Master in London, Kentucky, died in 1994, was a great influence to Hoyt and he credits his grandfather for giving him his love for camping and the outdoors.  Hoyt will play his guitar and sing “Wish You Were Here” in honor of his grandfather.


 Many of Hoyt’s friends will also speak, and a complete banquet is served after the Court of Honor to all those who attend.  The menu will include a roast pig, baked chicken, chicken and dumplings, corn, beans, mashed potatoes, rolls and various homemade desserts provided by Hoyt’s family.  The family estimates 150 friends, family and fellow brothers will be in attendance.


During the Eagle Process Hoyt was required to write his life ambitions and goals.  They are included below.


Hoyt’s Life Ambitions and Goals


After graduating Clintwood High School in the summer of 2003, he plans on attending the University of Virginia at Wise with the primary curriculum of Computer Engineering.  After the first two years at University of Virginia at Wise, he then plans to transfer to James Madison University to study a music curriculum.


He greatly appreciates the numerous values scouting has afforded him, the lifetime friends he has made and the adventures undertaken.   Each minute he has spent in scouting has enhanced the wonderful “life” values that scouting so generously portrays.  Hoyt firmly feels that he has gained confidence in himself by participating in the Boy Scouts of America program and challenges the youth in his area to experience the same joy he has found in the scouting way of life.


 Hoyt currently plans to become an Assistant Scout Master for his local BSA Troop, Unit 747.  This will enable him to share his scouting experiences and the many lessons he has personally learned with scouts just beginning their scouting adventure. 


Hoyt has not gotten to this point in his life without the help of many in the scouting program and he would like to repay their service and generosity by helping others through the ranks of the scouting program.


Hoyt credits the Boy Scouts of America for being the person that he has become.  He can liberally claim a large number of the attributes that are held in high esteem and reflected in the Scouting Laws.  This will no doubt be a valued asset in his life, as he now has a firm foundation to rely upon in those times of trouble and stress we all face in the years to come.


So…this has been Hoyt’s journey to becoming an Eagle Scout.  After meeting this young man, I highly recommend that all young men become involved in scouting.  It provides an opportunity for growth that you do not get anywhere else.  It will make a man out of you!