Musick leads Eagle Project to paint Blanket Rodeo Arena

Charlie Musick (above) is spearheading a group to paint the fencing at the Blanket Rodeo Arena in an effort to earn Eagle Scout status.

BLANKET — Charlie Musick is pursuing the rank of Eagle Scout, and benefitting the community of Blanket in the process.

Musick, 17, is leading a group of 14 who are painting the metal fencing at the Blanket Rodeo Arena, among other tasks, for his Eagle Project.

“We’re supposed to do something good for a non-profit organization,” Musick said. “The arena hasn’t been painted in a long time and really needs it. There’s a lot of rusty spots, too, so I decided to do this.”

Just over a year ago, the Blanket Rodeo Arena was among the hardest hit areas when an EF1 tornado with winds in the neighborhood of 105 mph touched down on May 20. The announcer’s stand at the arena was a complete loss, while the tornado also did a considerable amount of damage to the nearby Blanket school.

“One reason we have to paint is because of the new announcer’s stand,” Musick said. “The old one was torn down after the tornado and the metal on the new one never got painted, so it’s pretty rusty. There’s a lot of old paint we’ve had to scrape off in some places, and we’ve picked up a lot of trash out here, too.”

Musick stated he and those helping feel a strong sense of pride as they help return the arena to its former glory. Musick is also extremely appreciative of all the help he’s received.

“It means a lot to me because I couldn’t do this without them,” Musick said.

Musick has helped friends and families in their pursuits to attain the rank of Eagle Scout — including taking part in John Tobias’ canned food drive and assisting his brother, Wesley, remodel a church just a week ago — but this week’s venture is the first time he has led a project.

“It’s definitely a lot more complicated,” Musick said. “Painting fence isn’t too hard, but getting all the paint, the organization and clearing it with the council is a huge task.”

Musick, who has been a member of the Boy Scouts since age 7, currently holds the rank of Life Scout — the second-highest honor that can be achieved.

According the Boy Scouts of America’s official website, the rank of Eagle Scout may be earned by a Boy Scout who has been a Life Scout for at least six months, earns a minimum of 21 merit badges, demonstrates Scout Spirit and demonstrates leadership in the troop, team, crew or ship. He must plan, develop and lead a service project — the Eagle Project — that demonstrates both leadership and a commitment to duty. He must then take part in a Scoutmaster conference. After all requirements are met, he must complete an Eagle Scout board of review. He can complete the board of review after his 18th birthday as long as all other requirements are completed before his 18th birthday.

“After this is finished there’s a lot more paperwork, a board review and an interview to make sure I am fit to have the achievement,” Musick said. “I know it’s good to have on my resumé and will open up a lot of scholarship opportunities.”