Springfield Eagle Scout creates Honor Flight care packages

Hunter Odom, a freshman at Springfield’s Glendale High School, sets challenging goals for himself.

He doubled up on honors math classes this year, taking Algebra II and geometry, with the goal of reaching Calculus II his senior year.

A longtime club swimmer and the grandson of a Missouri Hall of Fame swim coach from Springfield, Hunter joined the high school swim team this fall. He practices eight times a week in hopes he’ll someday swim fast enough to qualify for state.

He joined the Boy Scouts of America in second grade, amassing more than 30 badges to become an Eagle Scout this summer — at age 14.

Hunter said scouting has been a big part of his life so far. “It’s a lot about being kind and volunteering.”

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Hunter Odom completed the requirements to become an Eagle Scout in summer 2022.

Filling free time with goals

Hunter grew up in Springfield, going to Hickory Hills for elementary and middle school. Along the way, he developed a close group of friends. They push each other, applying positive peer pressure.

His mother, Angie Odom, teaches math at Kickapoo High School. His father, Jim, is vice president of operations for a local company and wrote the children’s book “I’m a Brat” about growing up in a military family.

Hunter is the grandson of Sharon and Jim Whytlaw, a math teacher who recently retired after more than three decades as a swimming and diving coach.

Hunter Odom, middle, with his grandfather, Jim Whytlaw, a longtime educator and swimming coach in Springfield Public Schools.

He originally joined Boy Scouts because his friends signed up. “It was a fun experience, making s’mores and family campouts.”

Jim Odom recalled the first time he realized his son was hooked on scouting. It was at a Court of Honor, where the scouts are recognized for what they’ve accomplished. He said some scouts reached two or three goals.

“He had, like, 27 things. He walked up there and they were still reading (the list) when he sat back down,” Jim Odom said. “He had this huge smile on his face.”

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