On Thursday, February 16, 2023, Pack 28 held their Blue and Gold Ceremony where Arrow of Light scouts Dilan S. and Charles (Charlie) P. received their Charles H. Townes Supernova awards. These two superstar scouts have been in orbit together ever since Mrs. Burroughs’s kindergarten class at Glenkirk Elementary in Gainesville, Virginia. They share a love of scouting, video games, and all things STEM. Charlie and Dilan motivate each other to take on challenges and set big goals. They have been working together and independently for the past year on various NOVA STEM awards and their Charles H. Townes Supernova.
Their countless joint scouting adventures have included exploring Skyline Caverns, visiting the George Mason University Observatory, indoor sky diving, indoor rock climbing, ice skating, an escape room, summer camp at Camp Ross, troop visits, Pinewood Derbies, popcorn storefronts, campouts and hikes. The boys started working on the Out of this World NOVA award together at the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space museum in February of 2022 and things really took off from there. Over the summer, they earned 1-2-3 Go!, Swing!, and Up and Away together as part of their pack’s STEM mini-camps.
Dilan S. was a founding member of Pack 28’s pilot Lion den in 2017. Dilan has a great love of coding, and he inspired Charlie to join him at a coding camp last summer. Together, the boys learned how to program a Microbit and worked on game design. Dilan subsequently earned the Cubs Can Code NOVA. Dilan worked on his Cub Scout NOVA awards throughout 2022 and achieved five of the awards. It wasn’t until three months before crossover and inspired by Charlie when Dilan challenged himself and set a goal to earn the Charles H. Townes Supernova. He was up to the challenge and was able to achieve his goal. As part of the Supernova, Dilan’s mom, Kanar Sarraj, who is an electrical engineer, helped his den learn about and build electrical circuits. Reflecting on his scout STEM work, Dilan said that he liked learning more math and science. Of his Supernova, he noted, “I especially liked researching the scientists. Albert Einstein was the most interesting.” Dilan’s next endeavor is to achieve BSA Supernova awards and becoming an Eagle Scout.
Charlie P. joined the pack as a Tiger in first grade. After earning Nova Wild! as a Wolf and starting Up and Away with Dilan, he set a goal to earn all eleven of the Cub Scout NOVA awards and the Charles H. Townes Supernova before crossing over to a troop. Between council and pack programs, and daily work at home over the summer, he achieved his goal in December of 2022. Charlie’s favorite part of the Supernova was earning the Engineer Adventure. For his engineering project, Charlie worked with his grandfather, Robert Williams, who is an Eagle Scout and computer enthusiast, to build his own PC from spare parts. When asked about his favorite experiences, Charlie said, “I really liked learning new things and getting to meet Ms. Liv [his mentor] and the scouts from her pack.” Now, Charlie also has his sights set on the BSA Supernova awards along his trail to Eagle Scout.
The Charles H. Townes Supernova awards were presented to Dilan and Charlie by their mentor, Liv Martin of Pack 42. Later that same night, the boys crossed over to Troop 581 together. And so they continue to adventure on and inspire each other to shoot for the stars.