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Mystery Eagle Scout saves a life

Long-time readers know that I have enormous affection for Scouting, and I will definitely link out to bring you a story. Here is a post by Bryan Wendell, from his blog BryanOnScouting (which I read every day, even though Bryan doesn’t know it).

Help find the mystery Eagle Scout who saved a life in California

ScreenHunter_311 Sep. 13 15.26Joshua Allen and his family were on vacation in the Stanislaus National Forest near Yosemite National Park when Josh fell over a waterfall and needed to be rescued. He later learned he had broken nine ribs and punctured his lung.

A mystery man — an Eagle Scout, it turned out — saved Josh’s life, delicately pulling him from the water. And now Josh and his wife, Anna, are trying to identify the hero so they can properly thank him.

Read the rest of the story at BryanOnScouting.

And here’s a second story from Bryan’s blog, about another incident this summer where Scouts helped a hiker who was burned while camping.





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Canyon Lake Eagle Scouts

How do you quantify the well-being of a community? Here’s one way.

The Canyon Lake Times Guardian
canyonlakeeagles.jpgWhat do you call a large group of birds sighted near Canyon Lake? A Flock of Eagles!!!!

That is exactly what was witnessed on Saturday, March 3, 2008, at a special rare event of an Eight Eagles Scout Court of Honor for Varsity Scouts Troop 441. Held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints chapel located off of 3159 FM towards Statzville. This spectacle event kicked off around 6pm.

Eight Eagles and their projects:
The following Eight Young Men achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank offered by the Boy Scouts of America. Listed are descriptions of their community service projects, a major requirement to demonstrate their leadership and service skills.

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The Daily Flag News—March 4, 2008

Eagle Scout projects are favorite stories to highlight here at Flags Bay. This story is interesting because of the involvement of other organizations in the project. Matthew Johnson has already lined up the money, volunteers and is working on the location for a little new construction.

Battle Creek Enquirer – – Battle Creek, Mich.
matthewjohnson_eaglescoutproject.jpgHastings, Mich. – As part of The 2008 Leadership Barry County class, members are required to develop and work on a community service project. This project must benefit the local Barry County community, while providing an experience that will build leadership skills. The Leadership Class of 2008 has selected a project in which they will partner with a local Boy Scout, Matthew Johnson (age 12), to build a “Charity House” as a part of Matt’s endeavor to become an Eagle Scout.

The “Charity House” is an actual shed-sized “house” that will be used for the collection of returnable cans and bottles that will be donated to a local charity on a monthly cycle.

The 45-star flag was the U.S. flag around the turn of the 20th century. Looking at the photo, this one-hundred year old flag is in good shape and will enjoy its new home in the courthouse.

45 star flag finds new home in courthouse
farmington_45-star.jpgFARMINGTON — A little piece of history has found a permanent home in Davis County. At the Davis County Commission’s Feb. 26 meeting, members of the American Legion’s Farmington Post 27 presented the commissioners with a 45-star flag made soon after President Grover Cleveland signed a proclamation admitting Utah into the union as the 45th state.

“This is a special flag, and we thought long and hard about what to do with it,” said William Huber, commander of Post 27. “The courthouse has been designated a war memorial, so we thought this would be a good place for it.”

The Old North Church is updating some of its technology and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology, but LED lights in the historic church? I’ll have to think about it.

My Way News – Old North Church Goes Modern With LEDs
oldnorthchurchtower.jpgBOSTON (AP) – One LED if by land, and two if by sea?

The Old North Church, a beacon for Paul Revere’s famous warning of the movement of British forces, and a symbol of the American Revolution, has gone high-tech with the installation of light-emitting diodes, or LEDs.

The energy-efficient lights illuminate ceiling vaults inside the church, whose steeple was used to display two lanterns as a signal about British troop movements on April 18, 1775 – the night described in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous poem, which included the line: “One if by land, and two if by sea.”

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Eagle Scouts Everywhere!

Nothing brings me greater joy than spotlighting young people doing good. Today from two different stories, comes news that four boys have earned rank of Eagle Scout. When I was active in Scouting, the report from national scouting was that of all the boys who enter the scouting program, only 2% would earn the coveted Eagle Scout award.

Hard work and leadership are the qualities of the Eagle rank and these are fine examples of that process. Congratulations to T.J. Puls, Jared Collins, John Melton, and Harris Lynch. You have earned one of the hardest awards to achieve, sticking with Scouting many years to get to this day.

The Pueblo Chieftain Online – Eagle Scouts soar to the top together


T.J. Puls, Jared Collins, and John Melton

Earning the rank of Eagle Scout is a big deal.

But when three buddies – T.J. Puls, Jared Collins and John Melton – all of whom have been together in scouts since they were in elementary school, earn the organization’s highest honor at the same time, it’s huge.

So big that Kevin Kelly, the scoutmaster for Troop 19, must make alterations to the Eagle Court of Honor celebration to accommodate all the friends and family of three teenagers.

“We’re still trying to figure out how we are going to do this. We haven’t had this many (scouts) earn this (at the same time) and I’ve been doing this for 15 years,” Kelly said.

“The interesting thing is, these boys came in together from Cub Scouts and have stayed together and remained friends.”

The Galveston County Daily News
dailynews_eaglescout.jpgGALVESTON — Harris Lynch, tennis player and member of Boy Scout Troop 104, almost literally stumbled upon his Eagle Scout project when he noticed holes and cracks in the tennis courts at Lasker Park.

With a little persistence and hard work, those flaws are gone.

Due to Lynch’s leadership, the court at 43rd Street and Avenue Q has been resurfaced and repainted. The park sports a new drinking fountain, newly painted and canopied picnic tables, new fencing, restored bleachers and a basketball goal and small court.

The city’s part of the project, restoring the restrooms, fencing and windscreens, replacing net posts and restoring lighting in the park, is near completion.

“Finishing it has been a big relief,” Lynch said.

“I was spending most of my weekends doing that and studying for school.”

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The Daily Flag News—November 5, 2007

Zach Johnson’s Master win brought some unexpected recognition to the Nationwide tour. This story of The Truck is a heartwarming tale of men and their fantasies … giant screen TVs and beer.

ESPN – Sobel: On Nationwide Tour, everything happens at The Truck – Golf
2007mastersflag.jpgAt some point during the whirlwind of post-round activities following his first major championship win, between being helped into the green jacket by former champion Phil Mickelson and hobnobbing with the Augusta National elite at a victory dinner, Zach Johnson took the time to sign a Masters flag. The inscription:


Perhaps it’s not surprising that thoughts of those who helped pave his way were at the forefront of Johnson’s mind on that chilly evening in April. What is surprising is that the flag wasn’t for a friend or family member or even an old sponsor. In fact, it wasn’t even for a person. It was for a truck.

The six finalist in the Kensington flag contest are presented for voting. Each flag shows many great design concepts and no matter the winner, Kensington—a neighborhood in Toronto, Canada—will be well represented.

National Post
kensingtonmarketflag.jpgI’ve stated before that I won’t rest until everything has a flag. Towns, babies, family rooms, everything. Our joint contest with Torontoist to give the neighbourhood of Kensington a flag clearly has me excited. And now, at last, I can show you the finalists, one of which will receive a grand prize of their own flag made real by the fine folks at The Flag Shop! The flags are presented here with comments by me Steve Murray (SM) and Torontoist’s Marc Lostracco (ML).

It looks a bit windy as Jim Corn and Jerry Willis, members of the American Legion, raise the flags: the American, Montana, and POW-MIA flags.

Missoulian: Fresh flags / American Legion, Ladies Auxiliary replace emblems
corn-willisraisingflags.jpgWith a fabric-whipping wind stirring the fallen leaves, the color guard from American Legion Post No. 27 lowered Old Glory and attached two new emblems below on Thursday at Valor House.

The home to homeless vets in the Missoula area received the new flags – a POW/MIA and a Montana state flag – in a short and reverent military ceremony, thanks to the Legion and its Ladies Auxiliary.

“This certainly stirs my heart when I’m part of something like this,” said Valor House program director Michelle Stosich, herself a veteran.
The two flags had not been replaced since Valor House, which is run by the Poverello Center, first opened its doors to homeless veterans in 2005.

Worn ragged by the elements, the flags were retired and will be burned in a ceremony on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, along with other flags around the valley that have served their purpose.

Boy Scouts and U.S. flags are two of my favorite things in this day and age, and when they tie in together, the story is even better.

The Sheboygan Press – Great Kids: Sheboygan boy attains Eagle Scout rank for flag collection project
sheboyganpresseaglestory.jpgThe Boy Scout Troop 872 has announced that Curtis Jackson III, 16, has attained the rank of Eagle Scout, after completing all requirements for Boy Scout’s highest honor.

Curtis’s Eagle Court of Honor Ceremony was held Sept. 23 at Cub Scout World, Camp Rokilio in Kiel.

Curtis, a junior at Sheboygan South High School, is also active in band, jazz band, photography, track, swimming and Rockets for Schools (co-captain), is on the honor roll and is a member of the National Honor Society.

His accomplishments in Scouting over the past five years include assistant patrol leader, patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader and senior patrol leader. He is also the troop’s first-ever Junior Assistant Scoutmaster.

Additionally, Curtis also serves on these boards outside of the local troop: vice chief for Order of the Arrow — Wako Chapter, Order of the Arrow troop representative, secretary for the Order of the Arrow — Awase Lodge.

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The Daily Flag News—October 2, 2007

Last week The Daily Flag, brought the first part of this story under our commentary asking, “What were they thinking?” It was a story about an Oregon dog park with a memorial fire hydrant painted in an American flag motif. The story told of the outrage and removal of the hydrant.

Well, I am again wondering what are they thinking because they are re-installing the hydrant in the dog park. This is wrong on so many levels I can’t begin to address it in an introduction to a news story. Suffice it to say, it violates the U.S. Flag Code in many, many ways.

Flag Hydrant Reinstalled In Oregon Dog Park | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats
flagfirehydrant.jpgEarlier this week, an American flag-painted fire hydrant was removed from an Oregon dog park due to complaints from local residents that dogs would urinate on the hydrant. Now, the fire hydrant is back in the dog park and has been reinstalled.

After the hydrant was removed, the park department received many responses from dog owners and war veterans supporting the fire hydrant, which is a tribute to Hondo, a police dog killed in the line of duty. They wrote that the hydrant does not disrespect Hondo, the US flag or K-9 officers.

Earning the rank of Eagle Scout is rare, so I don’t get the chance often enough to highlight a young man receiving the award. The ranks of Boy Scouts are only a portion of the population and only 2% of all Scouts attain the rank of Eagle. It is hard earned and a high honor.

Achieves Scouting’s Highest Honor
eaglescoutawardianhermann.jpgNew York State Senator Kemp Hannon (R-6th S.D.) recently presented a New York State flag to Ian Hermann of Levittown for achieving Scouting’s ultimate achievement: the rank of Eagle Scout.

For Ian’s Eagle project, he grouped and nested boxes together in his community for American Kestrels and Screech Owls, which eat rodents and are an ecological source of reducing the rodent population. The project also assisted the American Kestrel which are on the endangered species list. Pictured, from left, are Senator Hannon,Ian Hermann, Jody Hermann and Arthur Hermann.

Bataan survivor Gautier beat the odds and lived a long life : Gautier endured Bataan, and lived to write about it
sunheraldbataanstory.jpgOCEAN SPRINGS –For three and a half years as a prisoner of war and survivor of the Bataan Death March, Msgt. James Donovan Gautier kept an American flag hidden on his body. When his captors randomly searched him, he’d sometimes stash the handkerchief-sized flag in his mouth. When he was finally freed, weighing only 96 pounds, Donovan returned with the flag; it now rests on the U.S.S. Bataan.

Gautier, of Ocean Springs, died Sept. 28. He was 88 years old.

Gautier lied about his age to enlist in the Army Air Corps, a predecessor of the United States Air Force. He was 17. In transport to POW camps, he and fellow soldiers were packed so tightly that when someone died, they couldn’t fall over, said daughter Diane Gandy.

Shuttle Astronaut presents special gift to University of Colorado

CU astronaut returns Buffs flag : CU News : Boulder Daily Camera
nasa-cuflag.jpgNASA astronaut Steve Swanson packed special mementos for his mission to space this past summer — a family wedding ring, his son’s Lego astronaut and a black-and-gold University of Colorado flag.

After spending 336 hours in space and making 222 orbits on the space shuttle Atlantis, the CU flag was delivered back to the Boulder campus Tuesday by Swanson, a CU alumnus.

“I want to give something back to your school,” Swanson told Chancellor Bud Peterson as he handed over the 3-foot-by-5-foot nylon CU flag.

“We’ll fly it proudly,” Peterson said.

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Cornfield maze tribute to Ford is all ears

geraldfordcornmaze.jpgEven though this story is a little corny, it caught my eye because it is about Gerald Ford. Gerald Ford is the only U.S. President to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

Of course, the story doesn’t have anything to do with Scouts, or Eagle Scouts, but that’s how my mind works sometimes. Bizarre? Yes, but effective.

Cornfield maze tribute to Ford is all ears | – Houston Chronicle
RICHLAND, Mich. — It’s a corny tribute to the late President Ford — and it can be fully appreciated only from the air.

A farm not far from where Ford grew up created a maze in a cornfield in the likeness of the nation’s 38th president, who died in December.

Each year, Gull Meadow Farms near Richland cuts a maze in its cornfields. A company that specializes in corn maze design drew up the plans for the Ford portrait, which says “PRESIDENT FORD” across the top and “THANKS” below.

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High Country Scouting makes memories for life

thepecoswilderness.jpgOne of my best memories associated with Boy Scouts involved a particular week-long camping and hiking trip to the Pecos Wilderness in the mountains of New Mexico. I don’t remember any cameras along on the trip, but the mental images still bring a smile to my face. I think the reason it is such a good memory is that the outing included my Son and my Dad.

The trip took massive planning, but eventually we were ready. All the boys in the troop were going—about 20—and five of the older boys who met certain requirements would go on a three-day backpacking trip. We had only one problem—not enough dads were signed up to go—so plan B began.

I asked my Dad (a man in his 50s) and my Father-in-Law (in his 60s) if they would like to go camping in the mountains for a week. I really don’t remember if I mentioned twenty boys in the sales presentation or not, but both agreed. That made four adults: the assistant Scoutmaster (who also had a son in the troop) my Dad, my Dad-in-Law, and me.

Camping in the Mountains

There is nothing like getting a group of boys, age 11 to 18, outdoors. As a troop, we had local campouts regularly, but things are different when you camp above 7000 feet elevation. The higher elevation caused one of our memorable moments.

The first night, with everyone in their tents, my father-in-law started gasping and clutching his chest. Quickly, a panic set in, and he said that he couldn’t breathe. Heart attack symptoms were ruled out, but we weren’t any closer to the answer. Accustomed to 3000 feet above sea level, the 7000+feet caused him to suffer from altitude sickness, and that was compounded by a panic attack. But he acclimated and soon we were ok again.

Backpacking Trip

The second day, the older boys and I left the base camp for our three day backpacking trip, leaving the rest of the boys in the hands of a seasoned Assistant Scoutmaster, and my relatives. I would have loved to have been a fly-on-the-tent for those three days, but upon our return, all were safe and well-fed.

The thing I remember most about the backpacking trip was also caused by the altitude. Cooking and eating took much longer than planned, so we improvised a few times. On the plains, water would boil on our backpacking stoves in about ten minutes. At 10,000 feet, it was taking twenty or more, and then the food still had to be cooked.

Meanwhile, Back at the Camp

Back at camp after the backpacking trip, the stories flowed. The older boys told the younger ones all about the adventure: about fishing in the streams for trout, locating camp sites, carrying heavy packs, and hiking for miles and miles through the mountains. They even told of how when hills were crested, beautiful panoramic views opened up that caused us to pause and just look for long periods of time. The younger boys were excited by the stories, and started planning toward the next trip, determined to complete the requirements to participate.

cornkits.bmpFriday’s supper included beans, cornbread, and fried potatoes, which sure taste good outdoors, high in the mountains, and shared with a lot of guys. We had carried CornKits to make the cornbread, and a couple of packages were left over which prompted another curious memory-maker for me

My Dad decided to cook corncakes (like pancakes, but with corn meal) on the griddle for breakfast. The boys mocked and decided they didn’t want anything to do with his stuff; they would eat bacon and eggs. Then, once the corncakes were done, and a couple of boys got a taste with butter and syrup and said how it was, they all wanted some, but with only two packages of CornKits, there wasn’t enough to go around. Everyone got a bite, but not much more. Oh, and they were delicious … Dad did a super job.

All’s Well that Ends Well

At the end of the week, everyone was exhausted, but smiling … even the adults. It was an experience of a lifetime for some of the boys, and for a few, the beginning of their Scouting lives. Many of those same boys went on to gain their Eagle Scout badge, some inspired by a great week in New Mexico.

Here is more information on the Pecos Wilderness, and a great collection of photographs from

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88-year-old war vet finally makes Eagle Scout

walter-hart.jpgThe headline of a story has one job—to catch your attention and intrigue you enough to begin the story. The headline above certainly did that for me. Normally, 88 year-old men aren’t awarded the Eagle Scout rank. I knew this had to be good.

It is—good, that is. How many times in your life have you worked toward a goal, just to have some important interruption put the goal on hold? Most of us admit it happens more often that we’d like, and the hardest part is getting back on track with the original goal.

Walter Hart was interrupted by a little thing called World War II, and just got back around to the original goal. In Scouting, the requirements for Eagle must be completed before one’s eighteenth birthday. After that, paperwork and review boards are involved, but merit badges and service projects have a deadline. That’s what makes this story good.

Walter Hart completed the requirements before heading off to war, but the paperwork took a little longer than usual. Congratulations Mr. Hart!

88-year-old war vet finally makes Eagle Scout | – Houston Chronicle
FORT MYERS, Fla. — More than a half-century after he finished the requirements to earn the rank, an 88-year-old man was honored as an Eagle Scout on Saturday, making him possibly the oldest person to ever collect the honor.

Walter Hart couldn’t become an Eagle Scout at the time he earned the rank because his service in World War II got in the way.