Boy Scout to hold Emergency Preparedness Fair in Manlius

Arnold Wright, 16, of Boy Scout Troop 154 Fayetteville, wants you to be safe in times of crises.

From 10 a.m. to noon Saturday March 26, the public is invited to attend an emergency preparedness fair that Wright organized to fulfill requirements for Eagle Scout status, the highest advancement rank in boy scouting. He chose to focus on this topic in particular because it relates so well to the scout motto, "Always Be Prepared."

At the fair, attendees can visit various booths with information on how to create 72-hour and first aid kits, food storage and preparation, water purification and storage and home generators. Edward Jones' financial advisor Robert Richardson will speak on topics related to financially preparing for the unexpected. Brochures from the town of Manlius Critical Response Committee will also be distributed.

According to scouting.org, a Boy Scout must earn 21 merit badges, 12 of which are required to become an Eagle Scout. The mandatory badges include first aid; citizenship in the community, in the nation and in the world; communications, environmental science, personal fitness, camping, family life, personal management, emergency preparedness or lifesaving; and cycling, hiking or swimming.

"Some are more difficult to obtain than others," said Wright's father, David. "And some take a long time."

A boy scout must also follow in order the six ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle; serve six months in a troop leadership position; plan, develop and give leadership to a service project for any religious organization, school or community; take part in a Scoutmaster conference and successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review.

This service project, just three steps away from obtaining Eagle Scout rank, will take place at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 5070 North Eagle Village Road, in the town of Manlius.

"Our church as been [focusing] on self-reliance and preparedness since the 1930s," David said. "The church was founded on pioneers who had to be very self-reliant."

A high percentage of Eagle Scouts are Latter Day Saints, he added, because the church encourages its youth to participate in the program. It's common that many young men are Eagle Scouts before they become missionaries; about three-quarters of students attending Brigham Young University also hold the rank.

Troop 154 includes members from Cazenovia, Pompey, Manlius and Kirkville and Fayetteville.

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