By SHELLEY TERRY - firstname.lastname@example.org
Three years ago, Chip Ranck, 17, was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honor given by the Scouts of America. But now, he’s received another award — title of Ohio Boy Scout of the Year from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Ashtabula Post 943.
The Grand River District, part of the Greater Western Reserve Council of Boy Scouts of America, honored Chip at its annual dinner March 24 for his many accomplishments . He is a junior at Lakeside High School and the son of Tom and Sandy Ranck.
For his service project, Chip designed and constructed an oar boat for Ashtabula County’s Lights on the Lake in 2010. The display will be used every year from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day at the drive-through light display at Lake Shore Park.
Chip has garnered many awards in his years as a Boy Scout, so it was no surprise to many people that he would rise to the top spot as Ohio Boy Scout of the Year.
“He’s a wonderful boy from a wonderful family,” said Raena Sidbeck, a teacher in the Ashtabula Area City Schools District. “Chip has completed many service projects — all for the betterment of his community — and is an amazing representative of not only Ashtabula, but Lakeside High School.”
Chip competed against not only other Boy Scouts for the award, but Girl Scouts and Sea Scouts. He was nominated by Lou Sawicki, commander of the Ashtabula VFW, Post 943, who was impressed with Chip’s service to the community.
In addition to his scouting projects, Chip volunteers at his school, helped the VFW distribute flags, took water to firefighters when they fought the big blaze in Ashtabula last year and spent a week in Washington, D.C. with the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security.
“He had a wonderful time,” said his mother, Sandy Ranck. “He got to go into the Pentagon, and the Japanese Embassy.”
He enjoys school, making the grade on the Honor Roll and Merit Roll, as well as a member of Student Council. He also plays the trombone in the band.
As Scout of the Year, Chip received a $500 scholarship.
A big part of Chip’s life outside of scouting is swimming.
He’s a star on the Lakeside High School swim team, breaking the school’s records in the 100m backstroke.
For years, he took lessons at the Ashtabula County YMCA in Ashtabula, then he swam at the Madison YMCA for six years, and for the past two years, at Spire in Harpersfield Township.
His hero is American Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, he said.
He credits Ashtabula resident, and fellow Eagle Scout, Justin Trisket, for “pushing him along” on the road of successful scouting. He enjoys being a member of the Venturing Crew, a program of the Boy Scouts of America for young adults up to 21 years old.
After high school, Chip plans to go to college, but he’s not sure what direction life will take him. His strong points are science and math, but he also likes history.
When he’s just hanging out and relaxing, he watches TV, plays his Xbox or listens to music, he said.