John Stookey of Chadds Ford was awarded Scouting’s highest rank, the Eagle Scout award, at the Troop 93 Court of Honor held at Westminster Presbyterian Church on January 4. Scoutmaster Tim Jaques made the award. Achieving the Eagle rank caps Stookey’s Scouting career, which he began as a Tiger Cub in Chadds Ford Pack 31 in 2004. In 2009, he was awarded the Arrow of Light, the highest award in Cub Scouting, and joined Troop 93.
As a member of the troop, Stookey has served in numerous leadership positions, including patrol leader, chaplain’s aide, scribe, instructor, and den chief, and has attended National Youth Leadership Training. In 2012, Stookey participated in the troop’s 85-mile trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. He also attended the 100th anniversary National Scout Jamboree in Virginia in 2010 as well as the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, which inaugurated the Scouts’ new Bechtel Summit Reserve in West Virginia.
Stookey’s Eagle Scout project was to collect age-appropriate used DVDs, videogames, CDs, and VHS tapes to entertain children when in the hospital. He led the collection of more than 4,000 individual items through troop, neighborhood, and school collections and participation in the annual Chadds Ford Recycle Day. These items were donated to Vinny’s Kids, a Harrisburg charity founded by Vinny Cherry, now a college student, who endured hospital stays as a child. Vinny’s Kids donated the used media to hospitals and camps serving medically compromised children from throughout Pennsylvania.
Cherry attended the Court of Honor with his mother, Camille, and stated that John’s project resulted in the largest single item donation in the 12-year history of the charity. Cherry called the project “an exceptional role model for others and an inspiration to volunteers young and old.”
Stookey, 15, is a sophomore at Unionville High School, where he is captain of the junior varsity Academic Team, a member of the Student Council, and active in the Gay-Straight Alliance.