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Sumner earns Eagle Scout badge for building ramp
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Those in attendance Saturday as Avery Sumner was recognized for his Eagle Scout project are, from left, Alan Fitts, Aden Sumner, Avery Sumner, Nancy Sumner, Atticus Sumner and Michael Harris.
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Avery Sumner, right, prepares to cut the ribbon to his Eagle Scout project on Saturday. He built a wooden ramp to the outreach building at North Hills Church of God of Prophecy. He is pictured with his brother, Aden Sumner, who helped.

Avery Sumner can call himself a carpenter after successfully completing his Eagle Scout project.

He designed and built a wooden ramp to allow for access to the outreach building at North Hills Church of God of Prophecy at 935 Old Smithville Highway.

A recognition ceremony was held in Avery’s honor on Saturday at the church to celebrate his Eagle Scout badge, the highest achievement in Scouts BSA.

“The old ramp was falling apart so I felt compelled to do something since I go to this church,” said Avery.

Like many improvement projects, Avery’s didn’t go according to plan. He had to make adjustments. After meeting with the city codes department, he learned the initial ramp he had designed was too steep so he had to make a change.

“It has to be a very gradual incline and can’t be too steep,” said Avery. “The idea is for it to be gradual enough for the person to wheel themselves up without being pushed.”

The pandemic has created headaches for most of the world and scouting has been no different. Nearly all scouting activities came to a halt for a year, which delayed work on his Eagle Scout project.

“I just got it done before my 18th birthday,” said Avery, who said that’s the cut-off date for Eagle Scout projects to be complete. “I did all the measuring and cutting and Lowe’s was nice enough to give me 50% off on materials. I also received some individual donations.”

Avery is a member of Troop 309 in McMinnville. The next step after attaining Eagle Scout level is becoming a scout leader, if he chooses.

Avery says scouting has provided many fond memories. He says small boat sailing, canoeing and kayaking, and ziplining are some of the outdoor adventures he remembers most.

North Hills Church of God of Prophecy preacher Michael Harris says he’s very much appreciative of Avery’s hard work. Avery said his brother, Aden Sumner, church member Alan Fitts, and his parents, Atticus and Nancy Sumner, were also major contributors.