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Oklahoma City family's Scouting legacy soars with Eagles

Dee Browning, 57, of Oklahoma City, spends time helping others achieve the Boy Scouts of America's top rank of Eagle Scout.
by Bryan Painter Published: December 28, 2012
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Although Dee Browning's free time is his own, he doesn't see it that way. He hasn't for years.

Instead, Browning sees his time as something to spend to help others achieve the Boy Scouts of America's rank of Eagle Scout.

Browning recognized what it meant when he worked on and completed his Eagle requirements in the early 1970s.

As a Scout leader, the 57-year-old Oklahoma City resident continues to recognize what it means.

This year marked the 100th anniversary of the nation's first Eagle Scout Award.

Eagle Scout is the highest attainable rank in Boy Scouting. Scouts must demonstrate proficiency in leadership, service and outdoor skills at multiple levels before achieving the Eagle rank.

Fewer than 5 percent of Boy Scouts earn the Eagle badge, according to the Boy Scouts of America.

However, Dee, his brothers James, 55, and Russell, 51, Dee's son Brian, 38, and just this year, grandson Caleb, 17, have earned the rank of Eagle.

And Dee's father, Courtney Browning, while not an Eagle, is still involved in Scouting at age 83.

Reasons to smile

When Dee Browning looks at an eagle, the bird, he thinks of the rank achieved throughout this family. When he thinks of the rank, he remembers the smiles.

In 1972, for his Eagle project, Browning organized a carnival for children at a muscular dystrophy summer camp.

“I remember that carnival and the whole experience of those camps, making a child who has physical challenges smile,” he said. “Even 40 years later, you still remember the smiles, and it still makes you smile.”

So how would Dee Browning encourage a Scout to dedicate the time and effort needed to earn the Eagle rank?

“I would tell him that in his pursuit to get the Eagle, he's going to learn a lot of skills and things that he can use not only in Scouting, but he can use in real life,” Browning said.

“Everybody knows about the first aid and the knots, but there are so many avenues through Scouting that he can use after you leave Scouting and are in the work force.”

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by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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Everybody knows about the first aid and the knots, but there are so many avenues through Scouting that he can use after you leave Scouting and are in the work force.”

Dee Browning,

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