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American Legion names Elkhorn youth as 2015 National Eagle Scout of the Year

July 14, 2015

Copple portrait edited(Omaha, NE) – July 14, 2015 – The Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council is honored to congratulate Ethan Copple as the American Legion 2015 National Eagle Scout of the Year.

Copple was notified of his award earlier this spring, and will travel to Baltimore, MD August 28 through September 2, 2015 to attend the National American Legion Conference where he will be presented the 2015 National Eagle Scout of the Year plaque, and a $10,000 scholarship from the American Legion in recognition of the honor.

The Nebraska Department of the American Legion, Valley Post #58 nominated Copple Nebraska Eagle Scout of the Year. He was also nominated by the Valley, NE VFW Post #9897 for Nebraska VFW Scout of the Year. Nominations were based on Scouting activities and service, academic achievements, plus involvement in school, community and church.

An Elkhorn, NE resident, Copple is a member of Troop 357 in Soaring Eagle District of the Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council.  For his Eagle Scout Project, he wanted to recognize and remember the veterans of the “Forgotten War.”  The Korean War lasted from June 25, 1950- July 27, 1953. Both his grandfathers served in the Korean War era.

Copple created and erected the Douglas County Korean War Memorial which stands at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Elkhorn, NE. The memorial is 5’ high and 3.5’ wide. A 25’ flag pole stands beside the monument.  The memorial lists the names of those in the Douglas County area who died or were reported missing in the war. Statistics show 36,940 serving in the war died, and 8,031 are still missing in action.  The memorial was dedicated May 27, 2012.

In 2013, the Nebraska VFW Post #9897 asked Copple to create a similar memorial commemorating the Vietnam War.  The Douglas County Vietnam War Memorial was placed in Prospect Hill near the Korean War Memorial and dedicated July 6, 2013.

Copple received his Eagle Scout rank in 2012. He was 14-years-old. He is still active with his troop and has completed Bronze, Gold, and Silver Palms. He earned the High Adventure Triple Crown Award by participating in high adventure experiences in all three BSA National High Adventure bases – Florida Sea Base, Northern Tier Boundary Waters, and Philmont Scout Ranch.

A student at Elkhorn South High School, Copple is a member of the National Honor Society, Mock Trial, Cross Country team, Concert Choir, Youth Leadership Omaha Ambassador, and serves as the Cadet Deputy Commander and Emergency Services Officer as a Cadet 1st Lt. with Omaha Composite Squadron (019) Civil Air Patrol. Cadet Copple soloed for the first time June 23, 2015.

When asked what Copple would share about Scouting with other youth, he replied without hesitation, “I enjoy being in nature, and hiking. On the way up to Mt. Baldy, (in the Cimarron Mountains of New Mexico at Philmont Scout Ranch), I carried the American flag and flew it at the top of the mountain. It felt great.”

He continued, “It’s not always fun or easy, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it.”

Resources – 

American Legion 2015 Eagle Scout of the Year Announcement –  http://www.legion.org/scouting/227130/nebraska-teen-wins-eagle-scout-year.

American Legion Eagle Scout Scholarships – http://www.legion.org/scholarships/eaglescout.

Eagle Scout Rank – http://www.scouting.org/About/FactSheets/EagleScouts.aspx.

What are Eagle Palms – Bronze, Gold, and Silver? –  http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/eaglepalm.aspx.

High Adventure BSA Bases / Camps – Florida Sea Base, Philmont Scout Ranch, Northern Tier Boundary Waters – http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HighAdventure.aspx.

High Adventure Triple Crown Award – http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2014/08/21/four-  national-bsa-high-adventure-bases-now-qualify-triple-crown-award/.

Author – Dixie Wagner, Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council.

Photo by – Robert Copple, Troop 357 Scoutmaster and father of Ethan Copple

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