By Terri Spilman
Recent Carmel High School graduate Ben Gormley just completed the monumental task of earning the Boy Scouts of America Dr. Bernard Harris Supernova Award, becoming the first Boy Scout in his council to earn this achievement.
To earn the Supernova Award, Gormley had to meet several merit badge requirements and complete specific STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) activities including being mentored by a professional in one of the STEM fields.
Gormley is in essence somewhat of a Supernova himself having achieved early Eagle Scout status in the seventh grade, with most getting to this level of scouting in high school as well as completing every merit badge possible – for the exception of the Digital Technology badge that came out one week after his eighteenth birthday. He refers to that badge as “the one that got away.” He was also one of three International Baccalaureate diploma students in his high school class.
Gormley was honored in a ceremony on July 18 at Ransburg Scout Reservation in Bloomington, Ind. where he is a member of the Boy Scout camp staff this summer. He will attend Purdue University in the fall to study Economics.
His mother, Sara served as a committee chair in his troop and does training at the district level. What she is most proud of is that her son has still continued his Eagle Scout project which is providing backpacks with much needed supplies to homeless people through the Homeless Initiative Program.
While the basket-weaving badge ranked as his least favorite over the years, being a mentor as a member of the Boy Scout summer camp staff is his favorite part of being a scout.
“My favorite thing has definitely been summer camp staff for sure. It’s a big time commitment but it’s really fun and you are with great people and can make an impact on some of the younger scouts,” he said.
As far as the next scouting achievement, he’s not sure yet. One thing he is absolutely sure of is that Boy Scouts has absolutely prepared him for life.
“[Scouting] forced me to do things like reach out to a lot of people and for one, ask for help and lead people. For instance, for my projects that I’ve done for various awards, it has forced me to direct people and have a vision and get people to help me work towards that,” Gormley said.