Notes From The Eagles Nest: Three New Eagle Scouts Honored at Troop 259 Eagle Court of Honor

The Troop 259 Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony was held at the Elks Lodge No. 6 last month. Shown here are three Eagle Scouts, from left to right: Billy T. Hernandez, Joseph Krieg and Robert Shirley. Photo courtesy

The Troop 259 Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony was held at the Elks Lodge No. 6 last month. Shown here are three Eagle Scouts, from left to right: Billy T. Hernandez, Joseph Krieg and Robert Shirley. Photo courtesy

On Sunday, May 18, 2014, three new Troop 259 Eagle Scouts, Billy T. Hernandez, Robert Shirley and Joseph Krieg, were honored at an Eagle Court of Honor ceremony at Elks Lodge #6 on Riverside Boulevard. They were joined by family, friends and fellow Scouts of Troop 259 in Greenhaven to celebrate the achievement of Boy Scouting’s highest rank—the rank of Eagle Scout.

The Master of Ceremonies at the event was Scoutmaster Ike Krieg, assisted by Senior Patrol Leader Damian Thompson. Elks Chaplain De Anna Marwin delivered the Invocation and Benediction with welcoming remarks by Past Elks Exalted Ruler Darrell Lawrence. The ceremony was officially opened by Dr. Eddie Braddock on behalf of the northern California Golden Empire Council in the Boy Scouts of America.

Scoutmaster Krieg noted in his opening remarks that the Eagle Court of Honor ceremony carries on “a 100-year tradition that has helped to shape the character of millions of young men in this country and around the world through the tradition of Scouting.” To earn his Eagle, every Scout must achieve five intermediate ranks: Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star and Life, earn at least 21 Merit Badges (12 of them mandatory) and live by the Scout Oath and Law. In addition, an Eagle Scout Candidate must complete an Eagle Scout Service Project. Its purpose is to give the Scout an opportunity to learn and demonstrate project management and leadership while making a contribution to the community.

Like the Eagles who preceded them, Hernandez, Shirley and Krieg each identified a need, overcame challenges and completed a beneficial project that clearly left its mark. Shirley’s project provided a much needed facelift to 25 band instrument storage lockers installed 25 years ago at Sam Brannan Middle School. Hernandez organized a community book drive, collecting, cataloguing and distributing over 1,000 books to children of all ages at the Sacramento Children’s Home. And Krieg worked with the preservation director at the historic Pioneer Cemetery in Slough House to preserve existing gravestones and to construct and place two 300-pound concrete meditation benches onsite and add native landscaping.

As the Troop’s three newest Eagle Scouts, these young men join rare company in their Troop and nationally. According to the Boy Scouts of America website, out of more than one million registered Boy Scouts and Venture Scouts nationally in 2013, the number of Scouts earning the Eagle Scout rank was 56,841 or about 5.6 percent of all registered Scouts. The average age of Scouts earning the Eagle Scout rank in 2013 was 17 years of age.

Since Troop 259 was originally chartered on August 25, 1966, there have been a total of 168 Eagle Scouts in the Troop. An important component of the Eagle Court of Honor proceedings is the Eagle Challenge, which was issued during this ceremony by 2012, Eagle Scout Dylan Kirk. Kirk called on the new Eagles to live with honor, loyalty, courage and good cheer, noting “the final responsibility of the Eagle Scout is service,” for which an Eagle Scout should always be prepared to put forth his best.

The highlight of the Court of Honor was the presentation of special resolutions from the City Council and from the County Board of Supervisors to each Eagle Scout. The presentations were made by Sacramento District Seven Councilmember Darrell Fong and by Mamie Yee, Chief of Staff to Supervisor Jimmie Yee. “The resolutions acknowledge the outstanding accomplishments of these young men during their many years in the Scouting program,” said Yee. For his part, Councilmember Fong recalled the responsibility to serve from the Eagle Challenge, noting that service to others is a key building block that makes our communities strong.

In their personal remarks, each new Eagle Scout spoke of how Scouting had affected the direction of their lives, providing a valuable underpinning for what lies ahead for each of them. Hernandez recounted his plans to further extend his book distribution project to as many other children as he can possibly reach. Shirley credited his outdoor experiences and leadership opportunities with stimulating his personal growth. Lastly, Krieg noted the many backpacking and camping adventures and the National Scout Jamboree in 2010 as having have left lasting impressions on him.

Looking to the future, with many years in Scouting still ahead of him, Hernandez plans to remain active in Troop 259 and is looking into Venture Scouting to continue the adventure. Having earned his Eagle Scout Rank while still 13, he is the Troop’s youngest Eagle. As for Shirley and Krieg, both have now aged out of Scouting. However, they will remain registered with the Troop as Unit College Scouter Reserve to connected with the Troop. They are also both considering several college options in the fall and are currently awaiting those all important acceptance letters.

Congratulations to each of these fine young men for their exceptional Scouting achievement on the Trail to Eagle. It’s a great day for Scouting!

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