Eagle Scout Receives Sustainability Award and $1,000 Scholarship

Charles Acker EDITCharles Acker is an Eagle Scout with two Silver Palms from Monahans, Texas. He’s also the first youth recipient of the Sustainability Award which is accompanied by a $1,000 university scholarship.

Every year since 2009, he has participated in clean-up efforts at the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Show in Midland, which has more than 20,000 visitors. He’s also picked up trash in the “Keep Odessa Beautiful” campaign twice annually for the last five years. He’s taken part in multiple conservation projects at several Scout camps and the National Jamboree. As a part of the requirements for his first William T. Hornaday Award, he lead his troop in the removal of an invasive species of plant that was preventing access to an important part of Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch.

For his second Hornaday Award project, he is planning to work with the CAF  in a recycling program that will establish separate receptacles for burnable trash and recyclables such as plastic bottles and aluminum cans which will not only reduce landfill usage, it will also help sustain valuable natural resources.

In addition to the Sustainability Merit Badge, Charles has earned Environmental Science, Forestry, Fish & Wildlife Management, Soil & Water Conservation, Energy, Geology, Nature, and 112 other merit badges. There are many valuable lessons Charles has gained through the merits of Scouting but, as a result of his experience and travels, he says, “Scouting has shown me not to be afraid to learn and to make new friends.”

Whiting-Logo The Sustainability Awards Luncheon was held on Wednesday, August 13th at MCM Grande in Odessa. In addition to recognizing Charles Acker as its youth honoree, Whiting Petroleum was also honored for its North Ward Estes CO2 Flood Project. The company has poured more than $850 million and countless man hours into the project since 2007.

The project has taken a depleted asset at the end of its producing life and applied the tertiary oil recovery technique of CO2 flooding to grow oil production.  It’s projected that these operations will continue for at least the next 30 to 50 years providing cleaner air, cost-effective energy, increasing jobs and tax revenue for our country, and operating in an environmentally safe manner. For these reasons, the Buffalo Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America has chosen to honor the company for its good stewardship.

$16,000 was raised during the event for use in programs that reflect the ideals of character building, environmental stewardship, and sustainability. The next Sustainability Awards event is scheduled to take place the week before school starts in August, 2015.


One possible design for the new Sustainability Center at BTSR.

In addition to helping spread the good news about Whiting Petroleum’s project, the event emphasized Scouting’s commitment to environmental education programs. To enhance those programs, a new Sustainability Center is being planned for Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch. In spite of having a wealth of opportunities to observe and work in a rich outdoor environment, BTSR does not yet have a permanent facility to provide the most cutting edge sustainability-minded program and activities to its thousands of youth participants. The establishment of such a facility has become a top priority for Buffalo Trail Council. Early estimates for the Sustainability Center are in the range of $500,000 or more. Such a center would provide enhanced, interactive learning experiences as well as access to exciting new technologies for generations of Scouts to come!


For more information about how you can become involved or help fund the Sustainability Center, contact Aaron Bedell at (432) 570-7601 or aaron.bedell@scouting.org.

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Youth Sustainability Award Honoree, Charles Acker, poses with Gary Bullock, Asset Manager of Whiting Petroleum. Whiting is the recipient of the Corporate Sustainability Award for its North Ward Estes CO2 Flood project.

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Scouts from Troop 175, Midland, share some time with Jay Hendricks, emcee for the awards luncheon and news anchor of KOSA CBS 7.

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Charles Acker, 2014 Sustainability Award honoree, poses with his parents.