Future Reflections Summer 1996, Vol. 15 No. 3

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Charles Cheadle Honored At Eagle Scout Ceremony

Reprinted from the May, 1996, issue of the Braille Monitor.

From the Braille Monitor Editor: When Charles Cheadle was eleven, he joined Boy Scout Troop 456 in the greater Baltimore area. He has continued to be a member ever since. On February 18, 1996, his family and friends, including his parents Barbara and John, both members of the national NFB staff, and President Maurer, joined 250 others at a ceremony honoring the three troop members who had completed the rigorous requirements for becoming Eagle Scouts. Both the Catonsville Times and the Catholic Review covered the event. We are reprinting the February 21, 1996, story by Tina Vardaro that appeared in the Catholic Review. The tone of the piece is particularly gratifying because, though Charles's blindness is mentioned by the reporter, no particular fuss is made over the fact. Here is the story as it appeared on February 21:

CARDINAL HELPS CELEBRATE 50 YEARS OF SCOUTING

For fifty years Boy Scout Troop 456 at St. Mark's parish, Catonsville, has helped turn boys into men. The troop combined its fiftieth anniversary celebration with its Eagle Scout Court of Honor February 18 in St. Mark's Hall.

Three Scouts achieved the rank of Eagle and were honored by dignitaries, including Cardinal William H. Keeler, himself an Eagle Scout.

Two of the Scouts coordinated improvement projects at the Patapsco Valley State Park for their Scout service projects.

Kevin Dolan, a senior at Mount St. Joseph High School, planned and directed other Scouts of Troop 456 in an erosion control project in the Glen Artney area of the park.

Jacob Wilson, a senior at Catonsville High School, led Scouts, Explorers, and friends in improving handicapped access to the Avalon area of the park.

Charles Cheadle, also a Catonsville High School senior, based his service project on his experience of being legally blind. Along with his fellow Scouts, Charles transcribed, produced, and bound a Braille version of the children's book, To Annabella Pelican from Thomas Hippopotamus, written by Maryland author Nancy Patz. The book contains both regular text and Braille, so it can be used by sighted and blind persons together.

In honor of Cardinal Keeler's attendance, Troop 456 presented him with a red baseball cap bearing the troop's insignia. Other gifts included a fiftieth anniversary commemorative patch and a denim blue Troop 456 neckerchief specially trimmed in red to signify the cardinal's position.

Cardinal Keeler called Scouting "a call to bravery, a call to reverence." He recalled his Scouting experience as an opportunity to live out his faith and to learn about the faith lives of other people.

"It helps bring out the very best in the potential of a young person," he said.

State delegates Donald Murphy and James Malone of Baltimore County presented the new Eagle Scouts with a resolution from the House of Delegates congratulating them on their achievements.

Mr. Murphy commented that, as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, he hears the "worst of the worst" of what people do to each other. He said he was honored to attend the ceremony and hear about the good things the Scouts had done for their community.

Father Ross LaPorta, pastor of St. Mark's, said the rank of Eagle Scout is a "call to achieve excellence," and that Scouting experiences in the outdoors "attempt to tell almighty God his creation is marvelous."

"There's no greater thing to tell a creator than that you love what he's made," Father LaPorta said.

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