And now I would like to call forward Mark Payne.
Mark is a former vice president and president of our crew, an Eagle Scout and the only one in our crew who has visited three of BSA’s four high-adventure bases (Philmont, Sea Base, and Northern Tier).
He’s also been a leader in Dutch Fork’s marching band for years.
Mark came to us in 2008 from Virginia, where he was a Boy Scout for years and earned his Eagle. He volunteered to help serve the following year in an unusual way. With marching band and a host of other activities, Mark often has been away. But he wanted to serve so in June 2009 he requested to be considered for an officer’s job even though he could not be present for the election and was elected our vice president of program.
As such he kept up a steady stream of emails telling everyone what was going on and asking other officers what they thought of different activity choices.
He also went with us to Sea Base in 2008 and was on my boat along with Kristina, Rachel, Ricky and Tara. It was then, I believe, that Rachel gave him her nickname of Marcus. He caught a dolphin that trip, the edible kind not the Flipper.
He learned how to belay through the crew and served the crew as a belayer the following year. That was the trip where he and Rachel engaged in an endless series of debates, including what constitutes “man pizza.”
In December 2009 he worked out a deal with Tyler. Mark wanted to run for president but realized he could not do it ever in the fall because of his marching band duties. So he asked if Tyler would postpone running for re-election to give him a shot. Tyler, being the super nice guy that he is, agreed and Mark became president.
What has always been true about Mark has been that he has been a leader. But an even stronger part of his personality has been his willingness to give of himself. I’ve said before that he is one of the nicest human beings on the planet and he always was willing to help others. One of many examples of this came at the end of his term. On the night of our elections, Mark came and voted. What was unusual was that he had to be up at 3 am the next morning to travel to Philmont. Even though it would cost him sleep, Mark wanted to cast his vote and participate.
When it came time to name Mark, it wasn’t very hard. This may have been the easiest of the lot. You see Mark is an Eagle Scout and Native Americans have lots of names for Eagles, whom they revere. But there was only one Eagle name that fits him and his willingness always to serve. So it is my honor tonight Mark to award you the Dakota name Wambli waste, which means Good Eagle.