Stephen Brown, 14, recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He is a member of Boy Scout Troop 99, which meets at the Houston Church Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Thanks to the efforts of a local Boy Scout, facilities at the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce Fairgrounds received some needed attention in July.

For his Eagle project, Plato resident Stephen Brown orchestrated an effort that resulted in the sprucing up of the flag poles and their decorative base area located inside the fenced arena and hundreds of chairs and tables frequently used for events in the fairgrounds’ community building.

Brown – a 14-year-old home school student – lives in Pulaski County near the back gate at Fort Leonard Wood. He has been a scout for six years is a member of Troop 99, which meets each week at the Houston Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Brown’s project at the fairgrounds involved work done by about 40 youth and adults, many from his scout troop and others from the church. The volunteers washed and refurbished hundreds of chairs and tables and organized storage areas in the community building.

They also restored the three flagpoles in the arena, sanding off old paint and then repainting them (as well as replacing worn out hardware), and dug out the overrun, trash-filled flowerbed at the base of the poles, before adding fresh mulch. The group also picked up trash, old lumber and scrap and hauled it off to dumpsters.

Brown has completed all requirements to attain the rank of Eagle Scout will be officially recognized during a ceremony in October.

“For me, the best thing about scouting has been the experience of doing it, and knowing that when I get older I’ll be able to use that experience to help me,” he said. “The hardest thing about scouting has to be some of the merit badge requirements. Some of them were difficult for me, but when I finished them, I felt a real sense of accomplishment.”

Brown’s Eagle project amassed more than 300 man-hours of work and was finished before the Texas County Fair began on July 30. To make it happen, Brown secured donations of supplies and services from several county businesses and organizations.

“Stephen is pretty much a model scout,” Troop 99 scoutmaster Jessie Carr said. “He’s been a patrol leader for quite some time and he helps coordinate everything and helps get the other boys motivated to participate in activities.

“He’s a good scout – I have a good time with him.”

Brown plans to continue scouting and earn “Eagle palms,” the equivalent of post-Eagle merit badges.

For information about joining Boy Scout Troop 99 (which currently has 23 members), call Carr at 417-380-0166.

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