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Kirkwood High School Seniors Earn Venturing Summit Award

Kirkwood High School (KHS) seniors Mackenzie Ewen and Hannah Pennington earned their Summit Award. The students are members of Venturing Crew 981, which is chartered by the KHS Pioneer Parent Organization.

Venturing is an inclusive program through the Boy Scouts of America for males and females aged 14-21. The Summit Award is equivalent to the Eagle Scout Award for Boy Scouts. According to the Venturing website: “the Summit Award represents Venturing's highest honor. To achieve this ultimate recognition, (you) will serve the crew as a leader— both formally and informally— and you will be a mentor to others. In addition, you will strengthen your community be designing and leading a service project to benefit others. The experience gained in earning this award will help you mature as a member of a team as an individual.”

For Mackenzie’s Summit Award Project, she designed and built a garden of native wildflowers that will attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds at Father Dickson Cemetery, a notable African-American cemetery in Crestwood, MO. “I hope that my project will address the growing need to protect dwindling native wildlife as well as attract attention to the cemetery which is maintained strictly through volunteer efforts,” said Mackenzie.

During her years in scouting, Mackenzie has held many leadership positions in Crew 981, including the vice president (VP) of Program, VP of Administration, VP of Communications and currently serves as Crew President. She also served as VP of Program for the Venturing New Horizons District and completed National Youth Leadership Training. Mackenzie has attended three High Adventures bases; Philmont Scout Ranch, Florida Sea Base and Summit Bechtel Reserve. She served as the Crew Leader for her crew’s Philmont trek. She has completed over 50 nights of camping, over 100 miles of hiking and over 80 hours of crew service since joining Venturing in 8th grade.

Additionally, Mackenzie climbs on the Upper Limits climbing team, enjoys sailing with Sea Scouts and is a member of the National Honor Society at KHS.

For Hannah’s Summit Leadership Project, she planned and collected over 300 bags of school supplies for students under the care of Epworth Children and Family Services in Webster Groves. She led a group of volunteers to distribute collection bags in Kirkwood and to collect, deliver, and sort donated items at Epworth’s facility.

During her years in Venturing, Hannah held many leadership positions including Central Region Area 3 Venturing VP of Administration, Central Region Area 3 Venturing VP of Program, District Venturing VP of Program, Crew President, completed National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and National Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE) at Philmont Scout Ranch.  She earned the Kodiak Challenge badge, Powder Horn Badge, and the Venturing Leadership Award at the Area level. She participated in high adventure activities at Florida Sea Base and backpacked over 80 miles in the mountains at Philmont Scout Ranch. 

Additionally, Hannah is a member of the Kirkwood High Women’s Cross-Country team, Track and Field team, National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society.