Former Petoskey resident receives national Eagle Scout award
Patrick Parker is the fire chief of the Grand Traverse Metro Emergency Services Authority. The former Petoskey resident comes from a family of Eagle Scouts and was recently honored with the National Eagle Scout Association's National Outstanding Eagle Scout Award. (Courtesy photo / May 3, 2013)
The award was presented at the President Ford Council of the Boy Scouts of America's Building Character Celebration on Monday, April 22, in Grand Rapids. The event honored the 2012 class of 250 new Eagle Scouts and Silver Award recipients, young people who have demonstrated achievements in leadership, service and outdoor skills. Proceeds from the program help fund Scouting in 25 Michigan counties. Keynote speaker at the event was NASA astronaut Charles Gemar who spoke to the class and reminded the audience that these will be the future leaders of our communities and nation.
In accepting his award, Parker shared the lifelong impact Scouting has had on his life.
He started his Scouting career as a Cub Scout in Pack 7 in Petoskey. He later became an Eagle Scout in Troop 7, St. Francis Xavier Church, holding many leadership positions. As the oldest of 11 children (eight boys and three girls), he started the tradition of earning the Eagle badge. All eight boys in the Parker family achieved the Eagle rank. Parker was active in the Order of the Arrow and attained the Vigil Honor while holding offices of Chapter Chief, Lodge Chief and Lodge Advisor of the Indian Drum Lodge. Parker served on the Camp Greilick summer camp staff during the summer of 1977. He became a board member of the Scenic Trails Council upon graduation from Lake Superior College in 1983 and held numerous offices including council president. He was honored for his scouting service with the Silver Beaver in 1996, and was active in the Crossroads Project and served on the Boundaries Committee. He has worked on the affiliation of Scenic Trails and the Gerald R. Ford Councils.
The entire Parker family came to Grand Rapids to witness the presentation of this prestigious award to Patrick. One sister and her son, soon to be an Eagle Scout himself, flew in from the San Francisco area, another sister and her husband drove to Michigan from Idaho, and another brother flew in from Tacoma, Wash., for the event in Grand Rapids.
Parker resides in Traverse City with his wife, Michelle, and their three golden retrievers. He has served as the fire chief of the Grand Traverse Metro Emergency Services Authority for the past seven years and has been a volunteer firefighter/paramedic for 29 years. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program and is the professional emergency manager for the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division. Prior to his full-time status as fire chief, Parker worked in the family trucking business, Parker Motor Freight.
Parker not only serves his community in the fire department, but numerous other community emergency response groups, community service organizations and initiatives. He is a member of the Traverse City Rotary Club, attends Christ the King parish and is a member of the Knights of Columbus Council. Outside his community service, Parker gives time to his church and large family residing in the Northern Michigan area.
Based in Grand Rapids, the President Ford Council of the Boy Scouts of America annually serves more than 20,000 young people from 25 west Michigan counties with the support of more than 10,000 volunteers. Part of the Michigan Crossroads Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the largest local council in the nation, in total serves more than 100,000 young people in lower Michigan.