Eagle scout rises high, destined to soar
March 6, 2009
FORT MCPHERSON, Ga. -- One Boy Scout with ties to Fort McPherson joined the elite club of Eagle Scouts Saturday.
Nile Dozier, 18, son of Annie and Dennis Dozier, received the award at the First United Methodist Church in Morrow, for building a 50-seat outdoor amphitheater for the church.
The award, the highest rank obtainable by a Boy Scout, was the culmination of seven years of dedicated work in service to his community, country, God and his troop, Troop 112.
"Ever since he first started, he's always been an impressive young man," said George Fenn, Troop 112 scoutmaster. "He always did what he had to do and maintained a good attitude."
These qualities were key to him winning the award, Fenn said, noting that only 2 percent of all Boy Scouts get it.
"It's a big honor, still recognized by society," he said, adding that even in the military the award can get a new recruit two additional ranks because it shows leadership skills and potential.
Ironically, for a person who reached the peak of Boy Scouting, Nile's journey through scouting almost didn't get off the ground.
"At the beginning, I didn't want to do it," he said.
Leading the push though was his mother, a budget analyst with Installation Management Command-Southeast. A believer in encouraging her children and their interests, she prompted Nile to continue his previous interest as a Cub Scout.
While in middle school, he signed up as a scout with Troop 112.
While his mother may have provided the initial push, Nile's personality kept the momentum going.
"Anything I do, I have to finish it," Nile said. "Once I got in, I figured I might as well finish it."
And finishing it meant reaching the top of the ladder.
To get to this perch, a Scout, in addition to earning 21 merit badges, has to complete a project that benefits the community, Fenn said. A Scout has to write up a project, submit it to his leadership, and get it approved by both the Scout leadership and the district the project will benefit.
"It is a great opportunity for leadership," Fenn said. "It requires a young man to make connections and create lots of relationships."
Nile, currently a freshman at Fort Valley State University studying computer science, needed to create relations with contractors to help complete the project, workers to help build the project and, all while, strengthen his relationships with the church members to ensure the project met their needs.
The completed project serves the needs of the church members by giving them a place to conduct outdoor worship and devotionals and hold outings and gatherings, Nile said.
Just as Nile's work is evident in the completed amphitheater, Annie said the work of the Boy Scouts is evident in his character.
"It built up his confidence and self-esteem. He's more disciplined, apt to finish projects he starts and go after what he likes. He's a well-rounded kid," she said, noting he participated in multiple extra-curricular activities, including high school football, swimming, marching band, track and field and being actively involved in the Fort Gillem youth group, holding the position of president.
"The investment paid off in the end," Annie continued.
Nile agreed, stating that his time as a Boy Scout made him a better person.
"It kept me out of trouble, helped me keep my hat on straight," he said.
While Nile credits the Scouts with helping make him a better person, he will now help give back to the organization and help mentor other young men, just as his leaders helped him. He plans to go back and help his troop as an assistant Scoutmaster.
"It was a privilege to work with him; a great privilege to mentor him," Fenn said. "He will be successful in whatever he competes in."