The next time some Midlands Boy Scouts gather to trade patches, 15-year-old Drew Moore will have bragging rights.
On Wednesday, Moore, who belongs to Troop 5 at Columbia's Shandon Presbyterian Church, received the first "Scout Carolina" patch designed to show the strong relationship between the State Park Service and the Boy Scouts, who are celebrating their 100th anniversary in the U.S.
Moore was given the patch by Gov. Mark Sanford in front of a row of colorful flags positioned by Lake Centennial at Sesquicentennial State Park.
"No one else can ever have the first – and it being presented by the governor was an added bonus," the teenager said, smiling.
Moore was honored for building part of the cedar fence at the park's historic log house. The Life Scout whose work is part of his path to earning Eagle, the Scouts' highest rank, said he and others will complete the fence by the end of the year.
Sanford, a former Scout, was presented a framed patch that he said he would add to his collection. He said Boy Scouts brings back fond memories and that it instills values of service, leadership and "stick-to-itiveness because it takes years to go through the ranks."
The green-and-yellow circular patch has compass directions on the edges and a ranger's silhouette pointing toward the east under "Scout Carolina." South Carolina State Parks is written at the bottom. It allows the Park Service to recognize Scouts for serving South Carolina parks by:
Practicing leave-no-trace camping for two nights at a park.
Participating in an approved service project at state parks with their den, pack or troop.
Interviewing a park ranger about his or her job.
A website will help Scouts learn about opportunities at state parks and how to earn the patch.
The state will pay for the patches, said Dawn Dawson-House, spokeswoman for the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department, though she did not have a cost.