KEYSER - Zachary James Lay was recently awarded the Eagle Scout award during a ceremony held at the Believers Fellowship in Keyser.

KEYSER - Zachary James Lay was recently awarded the Eagle Scout award during a ceremony held at the Believers Fellowship in Keyser.
Lay is a member of Boy Scout Troop 27, sponsored by the Keyser Rotary Club.
The award was presented in recognition for earning 21 merit badges, serving as a youth leader in the troop, and completing a major project.
For his project, Zach chose to improve the Queen’s Point Meadow Point Cemetery, just outside of Keyser. He renewed and painted the fountain there, painted the pole for the U.S. flag, re-lettered the entrance sign and installed solar lights for them.  
The project involved 96 man-hours of work by Zach and his helpers. The improvements were done with the cooperation of the Queen’s Point Meadow Point Cemetery Association.
The Eagle Court of Honor began with the presentation of the American and troop flags and the Pledge of Allegiance led by the Scouts. Singing of “My Country, Tis of Thee” followed, accompanied on the piano by Becky Dugas.  
Pastor Randy Crowe of the Believers Fellowship gave the invocation.  After the spirit candle was lit, Scouts explained the ranks which lead to the Eagle Scout rank.   
Guest speaker for the event was Rusty Jernell, a local 4-H volunteer leader who spoke of Zach’s contributions and longtime commitment to the 4-H program.   
After military veterans in attendance were recognized  for their service,  Zach stepped forward to repeat the Eagle Promise led by Bart Elliott, the Troop 27 Scoutmaster who is also an Eagle Scout.  Scoutmaster Elliott presented the Eagle medal to Andrea Lay, the mother of the new Eagle, to pin on her son’s uniform. Bart Lay presented his son with an Eagle Scout neckerchief and certificate.  Craig Westfall, who earned the award as a member of Troop 27 in 2013, gave  the Eagle Charge to remind Zach of the expectations of service and character which come with this honor.
Letters of congratulation were acknowledged from Gov. Jim Justice, Del. Gary Howell, Congressman David McKinley and Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito. A letter from Sen. Randy Smith was also received, but arrived after the ceremony.
Dinah Courrier, representing the Keyser Rotary, had a certificate of recognition from the club.  
Scoutmaster Bart Elliott and assistant Jason Emry presented Zach with a special blanket with the Eagle Scout insignia and his name woven into the pattern.   
In his remarks, the honoree thanked his family for their support, especially his father for his help with completion of the project at the cemetery.
The ceremony concluded with a benediction by assistant Scoutmaster Richie Burns and the singing of “America, the Beautiful.”  This was followed by a reception for the new Eagle Scout.
Leading the ceremony was troop committee chairman Doug Minnich, assisted by Scouts Dominic Shultz, Billy Burke, Jacob Emry, Brennan Elliott, Owen Miller, Trenton Burns, Kaden Kaufman, Frank Fitch and Preston Leatherman. Assistant Scoutmaster Greg Vanscoy helped with set up for the event.
Lay began his involvement in the Scouting program as a Cub Scout in Pack 46 in Fountain, earning the Arrow of Light, the top award in Cubbing.  He then crossed over into Boy Scouts, where he earned 31 merit badges. These badges included those required for Eagle, as well as elective badges, including moviemaking, climbing, canoeing and archery.  Zach attended the 2013 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, near Beckley.  He earned the Gettysburg Battlefield Trail medal and the Leave No Trace Achievement Award.  As an experienced camper and backpacker, Zach has hiked on the C&O Canal, the Appalachian Trail and trails at Spruce Knob and Dolly Sods. For these and other outings, he earned the Boy Scout’s National Outdoor Achievement Award.
In addition to Scouting, Zach has been active in 4-H for nine years, attending camps at Camp Minco and Jackson’s Mill. He has been a volunteer counselor at Camp Minco and a presenter at the annual STEM Festival at Potomac State.  He plays in the Keyser Community Concert Band and the steel drum group “Pan Jammin’.”   
Zach plans to study music at Potomac State College this fall.
Boy Scout Troop 27 was organized in 1918 as Keyser Troop 2. The Keyser Rotary Club took over as the sponsor for the group in 1921.  Zach Lay becomes the 26th Scout to earn the Eagle Award as a member of the troop since its founding.