Niklynn Bryant Dunn was honored on January 29, as he became the 50th Eagle Scout for Troop 472. His brother, Nathan A. Dunn, also an Eagle Scout, assisted in Niklynn’s ceremony.
In terms of badges, Niklynn has earned the Scout badge and ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life and finally Eagle. Along the way he earned 25 merit badges, served in troop leadership in seven different positions and spent at least 13 hours on service projects, not including the many hours he spent on his Eagle Scout service project. In all, he has completed 325 different requirements.
The 1938 ‘Handbook of Scoutmasters’ puts it this way: “The badges which accompany his advancement and which the scout wears on his uniform are not to show that he has ‘passed certain tests.’ There should be no past tense implied!” On the contrary, each badge cries out, “I can, right now and here!”
Niklynn has touched many lives as he worked to achieve the various merit badges. Most recently, the women and children served by Fair Haven, which serves Appling, Jeff Davis and Wayne counties.
As his Eagle Scout project, Niklynn sought donations for Fair Haven. He collected items that are used daily, such as paper products, bath soap, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, clothing, towels, wash cloths and money orders.
Niklynn enlisted his fellow scouts to help in contacting churches and various organizations and in placing laundry baskets for the donations. Having seen Niklynn’s appeal for donations in The Baxley News-Banner, Scout Aaron Stitt of Zephyrhills, Florida sent a box of items to assist Fair Haven. Niklynn was quoted “Isn’t it nice to know that a little donation of toilet paper can give a family hope. Please spread the word and raise awareness about Fair Haven in the fight against violence.”
Research has shown that out of 100 boys who participate in scouting only rarely will one ever appear before a juvenile judge. Many will serve in the military and six will enter the ministry. At least one will use knowledge gained through scouting to save a person’s life and many credit it with saving their own life. Only one in four boys in America will become a scout, it is interesting to know that of the leaders of this nation in business, religion and politics three out of four were scouts.
So what is an Eagle Scout? To quote the ‘Handbook for Scoutmasters’ again he is a young man “who is qualified to help others as well as take care of himself.” His badge is not “a decoration, but rather a symbol of knowledge and ability.”
Having reached the highest rank in scouting, Niklynn is not finished.
He plans to study psychology in college with the goal of serving those in crisis. He would like to thank everyone for supporting him through his journey to becoming an Eagle Scout.