Distinguished awards take an extended period of time to earn. Indeed, many honors worth attaining are never realized, simply because they take too long to accomplish. Such is the journey to attaining the Eagle Scout Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a Boy Scout.
Orlando Sorenson, a 14-year old Cordovan has been reaching for that award. Becoming a Cub Scout in 2003, and honing his leadership and organizational skills for 7 years, Orlando is now closing in on the goal. During the course of his Boy Scout career he has been mentored by leaders Rich Sorenson, Steve Ranney, Eric Warga, and Bill Howard. Each of the Boy Scout Leaders, donating their time and pledging their dedication to local young men, have encouraged Orlando, and others, in their respective ambitions.
It was in the fall of 2009 that Orlando decided to pursue the Eagle Scout Award. He chose to prepare his community for a disaster and join the AK Shield 2010 disaster drill endeavor. One of the most challenging aspects of the Eagle Scout pursuit is the Eagle Service Project. At least 40 hours must be dedicated to the project, from creating a solid plan to gathering resources and implementing the plan. Many a Boy Scout has begun the long journey…only to stop before it is completed.
But Orlando finished . His project , entitled Disaster Shelter Kits, provides each of the Cordova Disaster Shelters with a disaster supply kit, intended to help them open their doors to the potentially displaced citizens of Cordova. Orlando worked closely with Cordova’s Emergency Management Planner to determine what the needs were, attained all supplies through fundraising and donations, and organized the kit assembling. He then tested the kits during the AK Shield disaster exercise, and subsequently sealed and delivered 12 shelter kits to the Cordova Volunteer Fire Department. Those kits will allow the 12 shelters to open, if necessary.
As part of his Eagle Scout pursuit, Orlando also acted as an “event leader” for the AK Shield exercise, acting as the only non-adult in the leadership roles assigned. His “event “ was to organize the Boy Scout troops to interrupt traffic on the day of the drill. They simulated a Copper River Highway washout, handing out disaster pamphlets to those unsuspecting Cordovans who were stopped. Finally, at the day’s end, he worked in the Emergency Operations Center as support staff to those in charge of the disaster. It was a big day for a 14-year old.
Orlando states that the most challenging part of the process was, “getting the paperwork going to get the donations.” Alternatively, the most rewarding part of the pursuit was,”getting over $3,000 in donations and money to put the kits together”.