Brandon Kathman FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sr. District Executive & Operations Marketing Lead 5/9/23
Teenage Musician Records Album for Eagle Scout Project
DAVISBURG – Young musician and prospective Eagle Scout Kieron Holloway, 17, is making history, recording a therapeutic album for his final service project in what may be a first for the Scouting movement.
“The Eagle Project represents one of the final challenges for youth seeking Scouting’s highest honor, the rank of Eagle Scout,” Bob DeWar, a field director with Scouting’s Michigan Crossroads Council, said. “Kieron has channeled his passion and unique talents for what promises to be a novel approach to fulfilling the project requirements.”
The Davisburg drummer and guitarist has partnered with Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s Department of Music to produce the album, which he titled “Music for Mental Health.” A lifelong musician, Holloway comes from a family of performers. A second cousin once removed of rock and roll legend Buddy Holly, Holloway describes music as his love.
According to Holloway, the album’s ultimate objective is to supplement the therapeutic process for those living with depression or anxiety. Painstakingly composed to facilitate self-care, the songs will be free and accessible on most major music platforms.
“Mental illness is a very serious problem that can be difficult to deal with alone, yet difficult to find help for,” Holloway said. “However, music is often used as a tool to help alleviate the stresses of it.”
Under the guidance of the university’s director of music therapy, Sophia Lee, Hollway learned about the science behind music as well as the specific needs of his intended audience.
“I posted surveys on social media, gathering the musical elements people gravitate to in order to address mental health,” Holloway said.
Ambient and largely instrumental, Holloway’s “Music for Mental Health” will make use of drums, a guitar, a keyboard and even woodwind and brass ensembles. Holloway has recruited additional talent from the Clarkston High School band club, selecting for players he feels are “compatible with each other.” Once completed, the album will be around 20 minutes in length.
After finishing his project, the Scout must go before an Eagle Board of Review, which will determine whether to recommend him for the award. On approval, Holloway can join an exclusive few, as only 6% of youth who register in Scouting ever achieve the honor, according to the movement’s National Council.
Brandon Kathman FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sr. District Executive & Operations Marketing Lead 4/10/23
Lake Orion Volunteer Honored by Michigan Scouts
The Boy Scouts of America’s Michigan Crossroads Council awarded a Lake Orion volunteer with
their highest honor, the Silver Beaver medal, during the local district’s annual banquet on April 8.
Troop 128 Assistant Scoutmaster Tom Houlihan stood before his family and fellow “Scouters” as
Jennifer Sanker, a vice president for the state-wide council, presented him with the medal. To be
considered for the honor, volunteers must demonstrate exceptional character, extraordinary service
and be nominated by their peers. Furthermore, the council can only grant a few each year.
A keystone of the Scouting movement in Oakland County, Houlihan was recognized for his role at
the council level as well as within his troop, most recently creating the Emergency-o-ree campout
in October of 2022. Held at Camp Agawam, the event utilized partnerships with first responders to
teach several hundred Scouts about emergency preparedness.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” Houlihan said of the award. “It’s a huge honor, and I’m humbled to be a
part of the team. All I can do is continue working and try to live up to it.”
Houlihan works as a deputy sheriff with Oakland County assigned to corrections. He has raised
three sons, all of whom earned the rank of Eagle Scout, including Casey Houlihan, 19, who
received his rank in 2022.
“Scouting is a way for him to help the youth and set them on a good track,” Casey Houlihan said.
“He has always joked with the kids, ‘I’m in Scouting so I don’t have to meet you professionally.’
It’s just his passion; he has loved it for years.”
Other Lake Orion volunteers earned local awards from the council’s Pontiac-Manito District,
which spans much of Oakland County. Mikah Wisner of Pack 186 at St. Joseph Catholic Church
received “Cubmaster of the Year” for his role in rebuilding the unit. During the 2022 program
year, Wisner’s recruiting efforts took the pack from a dozen youth to over 50 participants.
The district awarded “Scoutmaster of the Year” to longtime volunteer Derek Krentz of Troop 284
at King of Kings Lutheran Church. The troop has remained one of the largest programs in Oakland
County, even during the pandemic. Krentz earned praise for his mentorship and support of the
young men in his troop.
Finally, Patrick Cox of Pack 128 at St. Mary’s in the Hills received the District Award of Merit for
facilitating monthly “roundtables,” which bring together Cub Scout leaders from across the district
to network and share ideas.
Picture 1: Scouts practice the firemen’s carry during the 2022 Emergency-o-ree, a brainchild of Houlihan’s.
Picture 2: Houlihan embraces his wife, Jewel, as sons Casey and Cullen join the crowd in applause.
Picture 3: Scoutmaster Derek Krentz receives the Scoutmaster of the Year Award from District Commissioner Lonny Johnson (left) and District Chairman Dane Bezemek (right).
Picture 4: Mikah Wisner shakes the hand of District Chairman Dane Bezemek as he receives the Cubmaster of the Year Award.
Picture 5: Patrick Cox receives the District Award of Merit from Chairman Dane Bezemek.
Picture 6: The Silver Beaver Award may only be presented for individuals who have demonstrated years of exceptional service.
Scouts collect over $6,000 for Ukrainian refugees
By Brandon Kathman | District Executive
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
Michigan Crossroads Council
A pancake breakfast hosted by Clarkston Troop 189 collected approximately $6,200 to support those displaced by the war in Ukraine.
“They’re putting their lives and their destinies into humanity’s hands,” Tom Snudden, one of the event coordinators, said. “We just wanted to try and be part of that, to be those hands holding them up and supporting them.”
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, over 5 million Ukrainians have fled Ukraine since the invasion began in February. Oskar Benson, a Troop 189 Eagle Scout now living abroad in Kraków, Poland, inspired his fellow scouts to action when his family began welcoming refugees into their home.
Taking place at Clarkston United Methodist Church, the breakfast was staffed by twenty scouts working alongside adult volunteers. The youth cooked and served more than 750 pancakes over the course of the meal.
“I volunteered to help the Ukrainian people and be a part of something larger than just our community, to be a step in the right direction,” Life Scout James LaZar, 17, said.
An estimated 250 people attended the breakfast, according to the troop. However, the youth working the welcome table admitted that they lost count after a while. While the breakfast only cost $10 to attend, many patrons chose to donate much more. One benefactor even pledged $500 to cover the food costs. Snudden said that other donations from those who could not attend in-person are still trickling in.
The proceeds from the event will be earmarked and divided between three nonprofits presently supporting Ukrainian refugees: the Ukrainian National Scouting Organization, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Poland.
“I hope that the younger scouts learned how we can go above and beyond when we work together to achieve a goal,” LaZar said.