The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

May 31, 2013

Sea Scouts honored at bridge ceremony

PALESTINE — Nine Palestine students were recognized for exemplary achievement at a Bridge of Honor ceremony Tuesday at First United Methodist Church.

Honorees were members of Sea Scout Ship 1, including: Monica Attaway, Briana Minter, Ashley Waldon, Helen Ramirez, Macy Stone, Piper Elrod, Stevie Ybarra, Jesi Dickey and Summer Hagan.

Each girl was presented the President’s Volunteer Service Award for 2012. Created by President George Bush, the award recognizes outstanding commitment to public service. Ship 1 contributed more than 2,000 hours of community service as a group.

Individually, Elrod and Ybarra were presented the Bronze Award, Dickey was presented the Silver, and Monica Attaway, Minter, Waldon, Ramirez, Stone and Hagan all received the Gold Award — representing more than 100 hours of community service. Each recipient receives a certificate signed by the President of the United States and a pin.

Elizabeth Attaway, one of the adult leaders on Ship I, expressed pride in the girls.

“By mentoring a child, helping an elderly neighbor, volunteering at an animal clinic, or bringing food and clothes to those who need them, these nine young Americans are helping foster a culture of service, citizenship and responsibility in Palestine,” Elizabeth Attaway said. “In these acts of kindness and decency, our girls have demonstrated the true character and compassion of our community.”

Three of the girls also were honored with the Congressional Award.

Created by the United States Congress in 1979 to recognize initiative, achievement and service in young people, there are three certificate levels of the award and three medal levels.

Recipients are presented a certificate signed by Senators Mitch McConnell and Hary Reid and Congressmen John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi.

Minter and Waldon received the Congressional Award Bronze Certificate and Monica Attaway received the Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Certificates.

The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ award for youth. It is non-partisan, voluntary and non-competitive. The program is open to all 14- to 23-year-olds. Participants must achieve set goals in four program areas: Volunteer Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness and Expedition/Exploration. For more information, visit

All of the girls were awarded the Venturing Bronze Medal for achievement. Venturing is a coed program of the Boy Scouts of America for teens from 14 to 20.

The Bronze Medal recognizes a high level of commitment and mastery of one of five areas: sports, arts and hobbies, outdoor, Sea Scouting and youth ministries. Dickey, Ybarra, Hagan, Monica Attaway and Ramirez received the Arts and Hobbies Bronze Medal.

All nine girls also have earned the Sea Scout Apprentice rank. Sea Scouting is a program within the Venturing program, and has a primary focus on water-related activities and skills.

Ship 1 was formed one year ago, and has already traveled extensively around the state sailing, camping and learning seamanship. The ship is chartered to First United Methodist Church of Palestine and the Palestine Rotary Club.

For more information about Venturing and Sea Scouting, go to

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