The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Valley

January 29, 2014

Selinsgrove Scout joins class of Eagles during ceremony

SELINSGROVE — Ryan Douglas Hoke was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout on Aug. 2, 2013.

Hoke was awarded his Eagle Scout pin during an Eagle Scout Court of Honor held on Jan. 19 at the Selinsgrove Church of the Nazarene. The ceremony was witnessed by family, friends, and the Scouting community.

Guest speakers included: Rev. Evan Ryder, Chris Berleth, BSA Seven Bridges District Executive, Snyder County Commissioners Peggy Chamberlain- Roup and Malcolm Derk, Harold Aucker of the VFW, Representative Fred Keller, and two members from the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War. Rev. Evan Ryder began with the biblical phrase, “Our hope for you is unshaken.” He discussed the ways he witnessed Ryan striving to be better and to do more and commented on ways that Ryan consistently looked for ways to improve. That drive is the reason that he earned his Eagle Scout Award. Chris Berleth remarked that an Eagle Scout is looked up to as an example to others.

“An Eagle Scout is a Man of Quality, a Man of Honor, a Man of Character.” Malcolm Derk noted that Ryan Hoke left an indelible mark on Snyder County with the completion of the Veterans Memorial. He urged Ryan to “Be the best that Snyder County has to offer the world.” Representative Fred Keller presented Ryan with a citation from the House of Representatives and spoke of what the rank of Eagle Scout means to the community and the commonwealth. Hoke received several other certificates noting his achievements.

Hoke joins an elite group of young men who have earned the Eagle rank and have made the Scout Oath and Law a part of their character. The first Eagle rank was awarded in 1912 and less than 5 percent of Scouts ever achieve Scouting’s highest honor. Many of our nation’s greatest leaders in government, business, science, and the community are Eagle Scouts. The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s largest and most recognizable value-based organizations. Its programs are designed to build character and leadership, teach active citizenship, and to encourage personal fitness. For his Eagle Scout Project, Hoke created a Veterans Memorial at the Penn Valley Airport in Selinsgrove. The memorial is engraved with the words, “To honor veterans and their families from our past, present, and future.

Your service is forever appreciated.” Below the quote are five military insignias and three pieces of artwork. The image on the top of the memorial is a Corsair airplane, a military aircraft used in both World War II and the Korean War. The bottom left image depicts a soldier running with a gun.

Hoke selected that image because it is on his grandfather’s Korean War plaque.

On the bottom right of the monument is the image of “The Praying Soldier.” The last inscription reads: “May God Bless America.”

The project took approximately six months to complete. Many tasks were undertaken to successfully complete the project. Hoke had to find a boulder supplier and an engraver, raise money through donation requests and VFW/ American Legion presentations, coordinate delivery dates and work days, send out thank-you notes to all donors, and make payments to material distributors. Due to the generosity of the community, Hoke was able to expand on his project and include a 20 foot flagpole, stone bench, lighting, concrete bases for the memorial and the flagpole, and extra river-rock to complete the landscaping. Additional funds not needed for the project were donated to the Wounded Warrior Project ( Hoke was assisted by his father and Jim Taylor, manager of the airport.

Hoke is a member of Boy Scout Troop 441 of Kratzerville. He joined the Boy Scouts of America as a Tiger Cub while he was in first grade. He achieved the “Heavy Shoulder Award” for earning all 20 Webelos Activity Badges. He also earned 22 belt loops and many activity pins in Cub Scouts. As a Boy Scout, he has successfully earned 23 merit badges and he was initiated into the Order of the Arrow. Hoke will be joining other members of Troop 441 on a high adventure trip to Sea Base in Florida this May.

A sophomore at Selinsgrove High School, Hoke is a member of the Selinsgrove football team and also participates in track & field. He is a Distinguished Honor Roll student and a member of the National Honor Society. Ryan is the son of Doug and Lauri Hoke, of Winfield. He is the grandson of Richard and Mae Hoke, of Freeburg and Chuck and Karen Melton, of Selinsgrove. He plans to pursue a career in the medical field upon graduation.


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