Ben Karnes, 18, of Rockford, received his Eagle Scout Award in a court of honor ceremony August 9 at Park West Church in Knoxville. The award was presented by Wayne Furniss, Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 865 in Maryville. Ben’s father, David Karnes, was emcee, and scouts from Troop 865 serving as colorguard were Zachry Gillani, Spencer Furniss, and Robby Karnes. Other participants in the ceremony were Bill Cagle of Troop 81 in Maryville, Fawad Gillani, Larry Pruitt and James Martin.
Karnes began as a Cub Scout with Troop 442 in 1998, advancing through the ranks of Bear and Webelos. He earned the God and Country Award and the Arrow of Light before bridging into Boy Scouts in 2001.
On the road to Eagle, Ben earned 26 merit badges and provided 144 hours of community service. He held the leadership positions of Scribe, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, and Senior Patrol Leader.
For his Eagle project, Ben led a crew of 39 volunteers (18 of these were from the Technical and Educational Center at McGhee Tyson Air Base) in rebuilding the playground at the New Hope Child Advocacy Center in Maryville. Karnes and the volunteers relocated the play structures, installed a drainage system, removed two dead trees, eliminated the ground cover, repaired the chain link fence, and installed mulch for erosion control. Donations were obtained from Willocks Brothers, Tindell’s Building Supplies, Superior Drainage Products, The City of Maryville, East Tennessee Fence Co., and other Maryville businesses and friends. The project required 437 hours to complete.
Ben is a 2007 graduate of Berean Christian School’s Independent Study Program and is currently attending the University of Tennessee, majoring in mechanical engineering. He is the son of David and Sharon Karnes of Rockford, TN. He is the grandson of John and Betty Karnes of Knoxville, TN and Bob and Anna Elliott also of Knoxville.