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Local teen second WV female to attain Eagle Scout award
Sarah Dudley first girl in
Buckskin Council to earn the degree

By Shirley Shuman
Recently, 14-year-old Sarah Dudley received the Eagle Scout award, the highest a Boy Scout can obtain, in a ceremony held in Charleston. She belongs to Boy Scout Troop 31 in Charleston, which is a part of Buckskin Council. Not only is Dudley one of the youngest Eagle Scouts in the Buckskin Council, she is also the first female in that council—which covers parts of other states, to achieve the honor. The other female West Virginia Eagle Scout is in another Council.
Dudley, who joined the Boy Scouts in February 2019, explained how she chose the project to earn the coveted Eagle Scout award. “I have a neighbor who fosters rescued horses until they’re adopted or transferred to another area. I learned about the rescue program from her,” she said. “I’ve always like horses and horseback riding; I’ve owned horses for three years and ride in the shows at Camp Holly Gray.”
She continued to say that the idea of rescuing and caring for those horses appealed to her so she contacted the West Virginia Horse Network, a nonprofit equine rescue organization. This group gets newly rescued horses from all over the state, and even out of state, and quarantines them until they are ready for fostering or adopting. Some are abused animals; others are animals whose owners can no longer care for them.
Upon visiting the quarantine area, Dudley noticed the condition of one building which housed three stalls but had only one sturdy wall and a damaged roof. She, along with her parents Jon and Dawn Dudley, decided repairing that building was a good choice for her Eagle Scout project. So the teen began her work.
“I went out and determined the needs,” she said, “and sometimes actually drew out plans for the project.” She, with her family’s help, basically replaced the building in five months. Dudley spent 452 hours on the project which included building three walls, replacing the roof, and installing two wide metal doors. In addition to the work on the building, she provided eight training obstacles. Explaining the reason for the training obstacles, she said, “[If they’ve been exposed to these] it makes the horses easier to be adopted.”
Upon completion of the project, Dudley had an end-of-project-day on which youth and adults from the network observed the obstacle course tryout and watched demonstrations by a trainer and a farrier. She noted that the point of having that special day was “to introduce the horses to possible adopters.” It also allowed her to showcase her project.
Dudley paid for the materials for her project with a fundraiser of items selling donated by the public. With that fundraiser she earned $3200. Following completion of the project, she donated what money she hadn’t spent, $836, to the rescue network.
Sarah Dudley and her family did most of the work on her Eagle Scout project. “It was difficult to obtain volunteers,” she explained, “because of Covid.” However, her Scoutmaster and members of Troop 31 did work with her one day.
This young woman chose to work toward the Eagle Scout award “because it is a very high honor,” she explained. There were rewards, of course as she participated actively in the horse rescue operation. She fostered two horses and adopted one. One reward which she named was “getting to hear Nicky Walters, president of the West Virginia Horse Network, talk about how important my project and work with [and for] horses were to the whole network.”
Many who saw Dudley’s completed project termed it the best they had seen in a long time. One in particular noted, “It is so big and covered so much.” That seems to be how Sarah Dudley operates. After noting that the Eagle Scout award is the highest among Boy Scout honors, she explained that there is, however, the Order of the Arrow. “A scout can become part of the Order of the Arrow and earn leadership positions,” she said. Apparently, she is ready for that challenge because she wore the Order of the Arrow sash for an interview.

Town of Burnsville dedicates new Veterans’ Memorial

On behalf of the Town of Burnsville, Tom Crutchfield welcomed the large crowd to the dedication of the City’s Veterans’ Memorial last Saturday. The ceremony took place at the site of the memorial near the south bound entrance ramp to I-79.

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Plea hearing dominate Circuit Court action

The Honorable Richard A. Facemire recently completed several court orders in the Braxton County Circuit Court. The state was represented by Braxton County Prosecuting Attorney Jasmine R.H. Morton.

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Sutton Council meeting covers numerous topics

The Sutton Town Council conducted their most recent meeting on November 11. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 pm by Mayor JD Hoover. The meeting opened with a moment of silence to honor Wilda Skidmore who had served the town for many years.

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