Eagle rank within reach for West Stanly student

Published 9:18 am Friday, August 25, 2023

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A West Stanly High School student has spent the last two years working to attain the rank of Eagle, the highest rank for a Boy Scout.

When he was studying or participating on the soccer or basketball teams, James Horton, now 17, was working on a project at the Stanly County Family YMCA.

“I’ve learned responsibility and persistence by going these different places and talking to higher up people about important things,” Horton said.

“I also had to learn patience because there was a lot of waiting for things to happen with other people or businesses throughout the different steps of the process,” he added.

The important things he was waiting on were sponsorships, a campaign for monetary and material donations that totaled more than $10,000 for the cause. Horton says the fundraising took the most time for the project.

James Horton prepares to attach the swings to the pergola at the YMCA Park. (Contributed)

He is nearly finished with his construction of a pergola with five porch swings and a fire pit.

“I did get the swings hung this weekend so the project is mostly finished,” he said Tuesday. “All I have left to do is order the sponsorship sign and a memorial sign for my grandfathers because some of my family members made donations as well. I also am going to clean up the area around the pergola and remove some of the excess dirt and rocks.”

YMCA Director George Crooker said he has “been tremendously impressed with James.”

“He chose a very difficult project that took him quite a long time to accomplish,” Crooker said. “He never complained and held himself accountable during the process. He’s a fine example of what an Eagle Scout should be.”

Horton is a member of Troop 191 in Albemarle, which meets at Central United Methodist Church and is sponsored by the Albemarle Rotary Club.