Traverse City Record-Eagle

March 17, 2013

'Superachiever' Scout earns SuperNova award

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Jonathan Ames was 7 when he discovered his first fossils near Polack Lake in Leelanau County.

“I found some ocean seashells about 300 years old,” said Jonathan, the son of Gregory and Brandy Ames of Empire.

The find inspired a love of science that has deepened as the Glen Lake Community Schools fourth-grader grows. Now 10, Jonathan hopes to become a palaeontologist and recently became the second Cub Scout in Michigan to earn the prestigious Webelos Scout SuperNova Award for advanced achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

“I think his ambition and motivation was a big contribution in him earning this award,” said dad Gregory Ames, leader of Cub Scouts Pack 111 in Empire, under which Jonathan earned the award. “He set his goal to do everything he needed to get it and worked very hard to.”

Ames said Jonathan is the first scout in the newly formed President Gerald R. Ford Field Council to earn the award, a bronze medal. The Council encompasses seven large districts in western Michigan, including the Bay Trails District of Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau Counties.

To achieve the award, Jonathan had to complete 10 rigorous steps, including earning six STEM-related Webelos Scout activity badges, participating in science projects and experiments, researching several famous scientists and learning about STEM-associated careers.

“My favorite was the part with the solar system,” said Jonathon, whose projects also included building a simple circuit and learning about photography.

“I’m proud of myself to get the medal. I worked hard to get the medal.”

Jonathon has been involved in Boy Scouts of America programs since 2009, starting as a Tiger Cub at age 7. As a Webelos Scout — a Cub Scout preparing to become a Boy Scout— he earned all 20 Webelos activity badges — and yet another title.

“The ‘superachiever’ is the term they give to a Webelos Scout that earns all 20 Webelos activity pins,” Ames said.

Now a member of Boy Scouts Troop 27 in Long Lake, Jonathan is working on a merit badge in cooking and is anticipating camping with his pack in Kalkaska and Muskegon in May and July.

He’s also looking forward to achieving the highest rank in the Boy Scout program of the Boy Scouts of America.

“I want to be an Eagle Scout by age 15,” he said. “That’s what I’m trying to get to.”