Ian William Ballenger of Scout Troop 510, South Park Township, was recognized for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout in a Court of Honor ceremony held prior to the COVID-19 pandemic at Windover Hills United Methodist Church.
The final hurdle in the quest for this highest Rank for Boy Scouting is a community service challenge, the Eagle Project. The candidate for Eagle must be in charge of all aspects of the project. The tasks include, but are not limited to, planning, financing, implementation, completion and final presentation of the completed project to a committee of Boy Scout leaders.
Ian’s Eagle project benefited the Oliver Miller Homestead, a preserved 18th-century homestead in South Park. The group needed a new admission booth matching the design and character of the rest of this historic area.
Ian designed, sketched and planned the new building. He then obtained formal blueprints for the project, raised funds and led work crews in clearing the final site, erecting the structure, painting and roofing the new building.
Russ Spicuzza, Scouting representative of South Hills Elks Lodge 2213 in Bethel Park, accompanied by fellow Elk Bob Northcott, gave a short congratulatory talk and presented the new Eagle Scout with two framed Certificates of Merit, one each from the local and National Elks Lodge, in Chicago. Spicuzza read a personal letter from Robert L. Duitsman, Elks Grand Exalted Ruler, congratulating Ian on his accomplishment. He also presented Ian with a personal-sized American flag and a small gold lapel pin, which represents 80-plus years of the relationship between the Elks and Scouting.