Eagle scouts soar to new heights

DBHS senior Spencer Hung (pictured on left), after receiving his Eagle Scout award, and junior James Lo, working on his service project of building cabinets for drumline (pictured on right), are Eagle Scouts attending DBHS.

Tess Guan, Asst. Web Editor

While most voluntary work rewards people with gratitude and appreciation, the Boy Scouts of America organization rewards its members with the title of Eagle Scout for their dedication and commitment to community service. Diamond Bar high school students Timothy Huang, William Loo, James Lo, Matthew Matsumoto, and Spencer Hung have achieved this rank of achievement.

The Eagle Scout, the highest rank of achievement in the Boy Scouts program, is granted to members who have devoted their time to the betterment of their community. Requirements for the title include earning at least 21 merit badges, and demonstrating Scout Spirit, an attitude which reflects the Scout Oath and Law, leadership, and service.

“Being a Boy Scout is, essentially, going through a stage where you are growing up and transitioning from boyhood to manhood,” Loo said. “It’s a very difficult process; you have to learn new skills to become a more successful person in society.” Loo painted Pathfinder’s curbs and gates for his Eagle Scout Project.

Members are also required to plan, manage, and lead their own service projects. Eagle Scout Service projects, which are performed to benefit their communities, include helping the homeless, constructing water fountains, and refurbishing public buildings. After meeting the qualifications, Eagle Scouts are rewarded with a medal and a badge, recognizing their accomplishments.

Huang, a junior at Diamond Bar High School, has been participating in the Boy Scouts program since sixth grade. He joined the organization after being inspired by his friend, junior Loo, who was a member of the program.

Initially, Huang participated in Boy Scouts for fun, but after a couple of years, he decided that the Eagle Scout title was a rank that he wanted for himself. Huang is currently a member of Troop 730.

“Every year during the summer, we have a summer camp. For a whole week, you do merit badges and activities like swimming and hiking,” Huang said. “Many of the memories I made [while in the program] were at the summer camps I went to.”

By showcasing his leadership skills for six months, working through the 7 ranks in the program, holding an officer position in his troop, and building rifle racks for the DBHS Color guard team as his Eagle Scout Project, Huang was awarded the Eagle Scout title at the end of last year.

Also a member of Troop 370, Lo, a junior, received the Eagle Scout rank after years of commitment to the Boy Scouts program. He joined the organization five years ago, after his friends recommended the program to his mother.

“Everyone walks into it because it looks good on college apps,” Lo said. “At first, I didn’t want to go because I thought it was really nerdy.”

However, after joining the organization, Lo found that he enjoyed being a Boy Scout, as it has allowed him to visit several attractions due to his involvement in the program. He has been to the Catalina Islands and New Mexico, where he accomplished an 80 mile hike.

“There was one outing in the mountains where someone almost died. I went three days without sleep,” he said, referring to his most memorable Boy Scouts trip. “We got a helicopter, airlifted him, and pulled him out of the mountains at three a.m.”

Working towards the title of Eagle Scout wasn’t easy as Lo spent most of his time last year planning and coordinating fundraisers for his community service project. Regardless, he was able to successfully build cabinets for the DBHS drumline as his Eagle Scout project.

“Last year I only had one AP, and planning that project was worse than this year, with four AP’s,” Lo said.

Also a member of the same troop, junior Matsumoto became an Eagle Scout after extensive voluntary work for the community. He joined after his mother signed him up, and has been participating for six years since then.

Matsumoto’s initial intention of joining the program was to achieve the Eagle Scout ranking, and he started the procedures during the middle of his sophomore year. For his project, he renovated his church’s garden.

“It’s been a bit challenging, because I have a lot of school work to deal with and the eagle stuff that I’ve been doing,” Matsumoto said. “I wouldn’t say it’s that bad though, because I have pretty good time management, so I learned how to handle everything at once.”

In addition, Hung, a senior, also joined Boy Scouts six years ago, but began first in Cub Scouts. Despite his early start, Hung didn’t begin preparations for the Eagle Scout rank until his sophomore year. For his Eagle Scout project, Hung painted rooms for a church in Fullerton, painted a rug design on the church’s floor, and repainted a parking lot.

Hung’s involvement in Boy Scouts has allowed him to experience and travel to different places around the world. Last summer, along with other members, he visited Japan on trip planned by the program.

“It was something new, since I was able to see a bunch of different cultures and different people from around the world,” Hung said. “It was kind of difficult to interact with them since language was a barrier, so we ended up using a lot of gestures. I ended up making a couple friends even though we didn’t speak the same language, we just got along well and it was a unique experience.”