Monthly Archives: February 2014

Fred Parker III’s Remarkable Eagle Achievement

Boy Scout Troop 266’s 18 year old Fred Parker III celebrated his Eagle Scout Court of Honor on January 12th at Warde Health Center.

Fred earned 21 merit badges including a wilderness survival elective badge earned at Hidden Valley Camp in Gilmanton, NH on July 24, 2008. The challenge was to survive a night alone in the forest, including building shelter and a fire. Earlier that day one of the largest tornados ever to touch down in NH carved a 50 mile long path with more than 1/3 mile width, affecting 11 communities in 5 counties from Deerfield to Freedom in just 80 minutes.

In addition to the merit badge requirement an Eagle Scout must successfully complete an Eagle Service Project, a community service project demonstrating leadership abilities. Fred’s project improved seating at the Town Beach, resurfacing 11 picnic tables. The team also built a 6 foot wide lifeguard stand, designed to withstand New England’s weather for years to come.

Eagle Scout is a huge task with many facets to the responsibility of the Eagle project, requiring the Eagle candidate to become a project manager. They are required to pitch their project to the Eagle board and get them to approve it. Then the candidate must manage their project from beginning to end including fundraising, budget balancing, networking and public relations and enlisting and managing resources to help with the tasks.

Fred’s mother Sue Liddell said, “It’s an entire life learning skill. That’s why Eagle Scout is so hard to achieve.”

The Samsel family and Cyr Lumber assisted with Fred’s Eagle project, providing an estimated $4,500 value to the town.

he Eagle Scout, the Boy Scouts’ highest rank, was awarded to 57,976 Scouts in 2012, about 7 percent of all Boy Scouts, and having achieved the rank of Eagle is a big accomplishment. What makes Fred’s achievement so remarkable is that he has Asperger syndrome.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Asperger syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, one of a distinct group of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by social impairment, communication difficulties, and restrictive, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.

Asperger syndrome, named after the Austrian doctor who discovered the condition in 1944, did not integrate with Diagnostic and Statistical  Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic reference book, until 1994. As such it is difficult to know the precise rate of occurrence. Estimates range from 1 in 500 to 1 in 5,000.

Popular vocalist Susan Boyle and American Idol season 10 finalist James Durbin have Asperger’s, as do actors Dan Aykroyd and Daryl Hannah, along with an assortment of other notable high achievers including Nobel Laureate Dr. Vernon L. Smith and Pulitzer-winning legendary music critic Tim Page. It is rumored Bill Gates has Asperger’s and if Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison were alive today they surely would have been diagnosed with it.

Fred is also a member of the JagSat team that was honored for their excellence by Governor Hassan last fall. He has been accepted into Norwich University’s engineering program in Vermont.

For more information about Boy Scouts Troop 266 or to join please visit their website at www.troop266.org