By Brock Hires
Riley Stucker is living proof that hard work and dedication pays off.
At age 13, Stucker was recently awarded his Eagle Scout medal, the highest achievement in the Scouts BSA program of the Boy Scouts of America. What’s more, since the organization’s inception in 1911, only 4% of Scouts have earned this rank.
“At the age of 9, Riley met an older gentleman at Polarbear Camp,” his mother Karla Stucker said. “In their conversation he spoke about earning his Eagle at 13 years old. Riley set his goal of earning his Eagle by the time he was 13 years old that day.”
His Eagle project was to build a flag retirement drop box and a bench that he dedicated last Veterans Day’s to the U.S. Legacy in Tonasket.
He earned his Eagle just before his 13th birthday.
“I have spent the past two years working hard towards my Eagle,” Riley Stucker said. “I have almost 40 merit badges. I have spent more than 40 nights camping and put in over 100 Service hours.”
Being a Life Scout with Troop 21, he has served in several leadership positions, too.
“My leadership positions have been Patrol Leader, asst., Senior Patrol Leader and a week of Senior Patrol Leader at camp last summer,” he said.
He joined the Troop at age 10 after earning his Arrow of Light in Cub Scouts - which is regarded as the highest award in Cub Scouts.
“He worked hard doing many hours of service projects,” Karla Stucker said, noting he assisted with filling sand bags during the flood of 2018, helped to feed fire victims, cleaned trails, picked up trash along the roadside and worked on projects at Boneparte and Lost Lake campgrounds. “He held leadership positions in his troop and helped younger scouts learn first aid, to tie knots, build fires and learn survival skills.”
Along the way Stucker learned several skills in camping, cooking, first aid, navigation, aquatics, emergency preparedness, hiking and fitness, citizenship, leadership and Scout spirit.
He attended many camping trips with the Troop and a weeklong camping trip each summer to a Boy Scout camp.
Eagle Scouts are required to move thru six ranks before reaching the seventh rank of Eagle. They are also required to hold leadership positions and have a minimum number of service hours. During this time they earn merit badges. To earn the Eagle honor, there are 11 required merit badges and 10 they can choose earning 21 total badges.
“There are over 140 merit badges total available,” Karla Stucker said. “Riley earned 20 more merit badges then the required 21.”
To date Stucker has earned a total of 41 merit badge and the Rank of Eagle all by the age of 13.
“Riley plans to continue with Scouts helping other youth earn their merit badges and work towards their Eagle Scout award,” Karla Stucker said. “He also wants to earn as many merit badges as he can; possibly to earn all the available merit badges. “
Entrepreneur, future plans
Riley now his eyes set on the Entrepreneur merit badge. In pursuit of achieving this goal, Riley purchased an ice cream tricycle last fall and plans to make his business known throughout the county.
He’s planning to have his tricycle at a variety of fairs and festivals, including the Chesaw Fourth of July Rodeo and Okanogan County Fair.
Aside from his duties as a Scout, Riley has a passion for small engines.
“My future goals are to become a mechanic and a welder,” he said. “I have talked about going to school at Wyo Tech in Wyoming to be a mechanic and welder.”
Being born and raised in Tonasket, he said he “would like to be a part of my community by opening my own mechanic shop in town.
“This way I can donate back to my community by being a part of local organizations,” he said. “I love my toys and would like to be able to spend time playing with my snowmobiles and dirt bikes.” ♦
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