Monday, August 8, 2011

Project Helps Earn Teen Eagle Scout Status

July 16, 2011
By Jocelyn Pedersen
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Slaughterville’s Anthony Strevett recently earned his Eagle Scout award.

The son of Keith and Stacy Strevett of Slaughterville, who will turn 15 this month, has been a member of the Boy Scouts of America for about four years. He said most scouts don’t make Eagle until they are over 16 years old, but he didn’t want to wait.

“I didn’t want to rush at the last minute to make Eagle,” Strevett said. “I wanted to get my Eagle long before that so I could do it well.”

Eagle Scout is the highest rank in scouting. Strevett said earning Eagle is a chance to experience leadership. Part of the qualifying process requires that the scout completes a community service project that they take on themselves.

Strevett’s project was to survey Turnbull Cemetery in Atoka, which is a Choctaw Indian cemetery. He said he went around and surveyed head and footstones, came home and geo-referenced them in degrees, minutes and seconds on a map. The purpose was to preserve the locations of the head and footstones. Because they were so old, authorities feared weather would destroy them.

This major undertaking took several months to complete. Strevett received his Eagle Scout rank in April, 2011, but first, he had to have his project approved by the Last Frontier Council’s Eagle Board of Review. The board approved his project in November 2009. Then he actually did the surveying all in one day on June 1, 2010.

“It was a long day,” Strevett said. “We drove down at 4 a.m. and came back about 10 p.m.”

Strevett said there were many other people who helped him at the cemetery by weed eating and cleaning up to facilitate the surveying process.

Strevett said his father, Keith Strevett, is a professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, who does surveying as a sideline. Keith Strevett brought his surveying equipment to the cemetery to help his son. They used a laser that sent signals out to mirrors, and then reflected the signal back to the GPS, which was situated on a benchmark set by the United States Geological Survey.

Anthony Strevett’s interest in this project was due, in part, to his dad. He explained that Jim Power, cemetery caretaker, approached one of his dad’s colleagues, OU’s Dr. Knox, about the cemetery project.

Eventually, Keith Strevett told his son about the venture, and Anthony thought it would make a good Eagle Scout project.

Anthony said his next scouting goal is to achieve Eagle Palm status. Through his many scouting endeavors, Strevett says he feels scouting has helped him learn to interact with strangers.

“Before I was very shy,” Strevett said. “I have met so many new people and have gotten rid of that shy thing.”

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