TUPELO – Forrest Frederick was presented 11 merit badges last month during Boy Scout Troop 9’s Court of Honor.
Those awards, however, will have to go on the back of Frederick’s merit badge sash. The front is taken up by most of the 68 previously earned by the Mooreville teen.
Earning merit badges is just one part of being a Scout, which the 17-year-old has been done exceptionally well. He was named 2009 Eagle Scout of the Year in north Mississippi by the American Legion.
Frederick, the son of Eddie and Debbie Frederick, was nominated for the honor by American Legion Post 49 of Tupelo. The state winner was an Eagle Scout from south Mississippi, according to Post 49 Commander Dennis Carlock.
“This was the first time we nominated someone for Scout of the Year in several years,” Carlock said. “We’d like to start doing this every year and encourage other posts to get involved to recognize the Boy Scouts.”
Frederick, a rising senior at Mooreville High School, said it takes time and commitment to earn a merit badge. He received his Eagle in 2006 and also has received bronze, gold and silver Eagle Palm awards.
“I spend no telling how much time working on a merit badge,” he said. “I just work when I have time, when I’m not doing other things like studying for tests or doing my hobbies.”
His favorite hobby is playing drums. He’s a drummer in Mooreville High’s marching band and performs with a band at East Heights Baptist Church in Tupelo.
Frederick joined Scouting at age 6. He said what he’s learned from it will benefit him in life.
“There are so many diverse areas of study in Scouting,” he said. “I learned a lot of things, like survival skills, character, what it means to be respectful. I’ve learned a lot about life. You’re not always going to win. You’re going to have failures, but you keep going and strive for success and stay with it.”
Bobby Pepper/Lee County Neighbors