Skillman honored as Eagle Scout

Published 12:47 am Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The normal Alabama winter winds, fierce and cold, were not in this Sunday’s weather forecast. Instead, a warm gentle breeze with mid 70’s temperature greeted out Sunday morning special Eagle Scout ceremony honoring James Macon Skillman. It was as if the weather cooperated to make this day special, following seventeen-year path to Eagle Scout uniform draped with multiple merit badges.

Family and friends as well as the congregation anxiously awaited the service, officiated by the pastor (Rev. Dr. A. M. Stinson, Jr.), and followed with reception and lunch for for all in the church fellowship hall. The task of preparing the reception and lunch was the handy-work of grandmothers, Glenda (Stinson) and Gus (Skillman), as well as Mary (mother) and Sloan (sister).

Rev. Stinson, CIMC pastor and granddad to Macon, dedicated the whole church service to honor Macon and the Christian-based Eagle Scout program. The church bulletin was embossed with the red, white and blue Boy Scout emblem on the front cover. The two-page program insert was bound with a narrow red satin ribbon to hold the pages. Macon’t uncle, Dr. Mac Stinson III, recorded the service on DVD.

As any good church service would have it, the ceremony began with good music. The selections were patriotic church hymns. Rev. Stinson talked about the Scouts. The Scout Oath, led by Dr. Stinson, was cited by all present.

Then the pastor followed with the twelve points of the scout laws – each based on scripture with Bible reverence verses.

Two letters of commendation were read. There were others, but these two were selected for reading aloud. The first letter came from Chris Curry, Sheriff of Shelby County. The other selection – generous with praise – was written by the director, FBI, United States of Alabama.

The pride of all present that day was not yet to its highest point. Macon was presented, as the Scout’s custom, the Eagle Scout badge by his mother. Then Macon presented pins to his mother and father.

Last, Macon asked to speak. He asked to recognize his mentor. Macon said, “I have the privilege of selecting a special mentor…. Grandaddy… Grandaddy, it is my privilege and honor to present the Eagle Scout Mentor Award pin to you,”

The congregation applauded, loud and clear for all to hear. Rev. Stinson, Glassy eyes and in awe, leaned over to receive the pin… then reached out and hugged his grandson.

Family and friends and the whole church moved on to celebrate with greeting and food and to view the sand-box construction slide show. (Macon’s Eagle Scout project was to build a permanent sand table for a pre-school, requiring plus three-hundred hours of work.)

Grandmothers as well as Macon’s mother and sister had set forth a feast… worthy and fit for a king’s banquet. The décor was elaborate; rows of tables draped with red table clothes, crisp without wrinkles, were adorned with colorful Boy Scout placemats with matching napkins.

The final word. Whoever said, the greatness of out nation is in its young was on target. Truly, the United State of America is in good hands. Youth, keep up the good work.