Six young men in Boy Scout Troop 42, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Oakdale 2nd ward, were honored and awarded the rank of Eagle Scout recently in an Eagle Court of Honor Ceremony.
Robert Anderson, Chad Fallentine, Robert Hancock, Braden Lee, Brett Murdoch and Chris Williams all attend Oakdale High School and were recognized as Eagle Scouts by Denton Hoeh representing the Greater Yosemite Council, Chief Tenaya District Committee.
Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout includes, among other things, service to others, completion of a minimum of 21 merit badges exposing the scout to new experiences and requiring expertise of a new skill, leadership training involving the completion of a project totaling 80-100 hours, and exemplary behavior.
Hyrum Kemp, a leader of the scouts, shared memories of experiences with each of the young men and their individual strengths. Oakdale Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Morgan honored the Eagles and presented them with certificates from the City of Oakdale recognizing their achievement.
“Nationally, only about three percent of all Boy Scouts ever earn this rank,” said Bishop Vaughn Williams. “These young men have been diligent and dedicated in achieving this highest rank of scouting.”
Each scout expressed thanks for the help of parents, scout and church leaders in their quest for the Eagle and acknowledged that without the help of others, they would not have been able to achieve their goal.
Eleven past recipients welcomed the teens into the Eagle’s Nest with a charge to “continue to live a life that exemplifies scouting,” including the scout motto to “Be Prepared” and the scout slogan, “Do a Good Turn Daily.”
Below are summaries of each of the scouts’ Eagle projects.
Robert Anderson, 17, organized the relocation of the greenhouse in the Magnolia Elementary School garden and its refurbishment, which included two tables, an indoor sink with running water and overhead misters for seedlings. His favorite merit badge was Snow Sports because it was a day filled with fun and friends. He says scouting has taught him to value hard work and that it pays off in the end. He is an OHS rally commissioner and is on the competing Academic Decathlon team. He has also participated on the OHS football and track teams. His parents are Bob and Kari Anderson.
Chad Fallentine, 18, organized and supervised the laying of a cement pad with cement steps for the greenhouse foundation in the school garden at Magnolia Elementary as his Eagle Scout project. His favorite merit badge was Wilderness Survival because he learned how to build a shelter and to build a fire without matches. His favorite scouting experience was a trip to Point Reyes.
“Scouting has taught me to give service to those who are in need,” he said. “It has also helped me learn to keep organized and to manage things like money and work that needs to be done.”
He participated on the OHS track team and is currently a freshman attending junior college. He is the son of Chris and Kristine Fallentine.
Robert Hancock, 18, organized the painting of interior hallways at Cloverland Elementary School as part of the annual “Friends & Families 4 Schools” service project. Wilderness Survival was his favorite merit badge and he most enjoyed participating in the “50 Miler” where he had a chance to build friendships.
“Scouting has taught me the importance of living a life of integrity,” he said.
He is a freshman at LDS Business College in Utah. While attending OHS, he participated in the school choir. He is the son of Thomas and the late Diana Hancock.
Braden Lee, 15, made a raised garden bed with irrigation at Magnolia Elementary School. His favorite merit badge was camping. He enjoyed attending and participating in scout camp while he earned merit badges and made new friends. His parents are Troy and Debbie Lee.
“Scouting has taught me to be prepared, and that I can accomplish a lot,” he said. “I think that this will help me in my everyday life: in school, my mission, marriage and my career.”
Brett Murdoch, 16, remodeled the sound booth at the OHS corral. As part of the project he installed a TV monitor in the snack booth so volunteers could view the game. His favorite merit badge was water skiing. He enjoyed participating in the many campouts where he learned survival skills and built friendships with leaders and friends.
“Scouting has taught me practical skills, including how to survive in the wilderness,” he said.
He is a member of the OHS track team and does pole vault. His parents are Richard and Lori Murdoch.
Chris Williams, 15, coordinated the “Friends & Families 4 Schools” service project at Magnolia Elementary School for his Eagle project. More than 80 community members volunteered during the project by refurbishing the greenhouse, general clean up of the grounds, and placement of emergency supply kits in each classroom. Canoeing was his favorite merit badge and getting his Eagle rank was his favorite scouting experience. His parents are Vaughn and Janice Williams.
“I learned leadership skills which will help me throughout my life,” he said in regards to the importance of scouting.
Annette Kimball contributed to this article.