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COLUMN: Mohun shares personal inspiration for Eagle Scout dream

EagleScout1
[/media-credit] Senior McKay Mohun continues to work towards earning the title of Eagle Scout. He has been in the program since first grade.
When I first heard of Boy Scouts I was in the first grade; I joined as a Tiger Cub with the dream of becoming an Eagle Scout. Our leaders told us that if we stuck with scouts that we could reach the very rare rank one day.

To those who aren’t familiar with Boy Scouts of America, depending on the boy’s age he begins his career as a cub scout then after fifth grade they become a Boy Scout. The organization that currently holds over 2.7 million youth members, was established in 1910.

Once a Boy Scout in Troop 223, each member looks to rise to the rank of Eagle Scout, which is no small accomplishment. There are a total of seven ranks that they must earn: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star Scout, Life Scout and finally Eagle Scout.

I began as Tiger Cub, joining to go on adventures, learn survival skills and go on these journey with my friends. I was about eight years old when I began, and my first Scout Master was my friend’s dad, Thomas Olson.

He told us that if we were hard working and dedicated that one day we could all become Eagle Scouts. My friends and I decided that if we kept each other accountable we could all earn the rank together.

Olson was a very large impact on my scouting career and in my life as a whole. When I was in the fourth grade, he died unexpectedly and forever changed my life as well as the life of my friend.

After he died, I made a promise to myself that I would see my journey through and finish what I started. This would turn out to be much harder than I had originally expected. As the years went on my goal seemed more and more lofty.

Upon entering high school, my time became preoccupied with new sports and clubs that I had not experienced before. I had to re-prioritize my time according to school and football, leaving very little time for camp outings and scout meetings. This new amount of time constraint left me very little time for scouts and made it much harder to advance in rank. In addition to that, I was now the older scout which made the age gap between myself and many of the younger scouts very apparent to me.

Despite these set backs I did my best to stay on top of my responsibilities and continued to advance in rank. When I reached the rank of Life Scout I knew it was time for me to start planning my Eagle project. An Eagle project is the largest feat to tackle in all of scouts. It takes time, money planning and dedication. A scout must also reach the rank of Eagle before they are 18. I had just turned 17 when I began planning mine.

One of the former Scout Leaders approached me about a renovation project that would take place at the Catholic Diocese of Fresno Headquarters. There I would have to renovate the pathway along the Pastoral Center fountain.

The whole project took months of planning from March to September, filled with both success and setbacks. I had to take measurements, get approvals, fundraise, learn skills in pouring concrete and most importantly learn how to stay persistent on the goal at hand.

When I finally had all the preparations, the project itself took a total of two eight-hour days full of hard labor. My project had us, the boy scouts of 223, doing demolition of the decayed concrete that was there. Once the old concrete was out, we encircled the fountain in new concrete. Then after letting the the concrete dry, grass was planted on the remaining area of where the old concrete used to be.

The condition of the cement around the fountain was unleveled with many holes, cracks and rocks sticking out. Starting at 6 a.m., we would arrive at the fountain on the Pastoral Center on San Joaquin Memorial Campus. We dug a four inch hole around the outside of the two inch decayed concrete. The scouts broke up into two even groups of boys working on one half or the other. Equipment such as sledgehammers, picks and shovels were all provided to demolish the concrete.

We made footings, planted rebar and steaked the forms, all with the help and guidance of our concrete expert and Facility Manager Hector Garza. The old broken concrete was carried off in wheel barrows and put in the trailer to be taken to the nearby dump.

The cement was poured at 6 a.m. the next morning and was set to dry ending at 8 p.m. It’s surface will then be smoothed and the cement will dry. There was two paths of stepping stones put out leading to the sidewalk. Following three days later at 4 p.m. the wooden steaks were taken out and grass was planted on the remaining dirt.

Following my project, I had to take my final step: presenting myself to the Board of Review as an Eagle Candidate. Then after an hour and a half, my 13-year journey came to an end as I had passed the interview and was named an Eagle Scout.

As of May 5, I officially took on the rank of Eagle Scout following my Court of Honor Ceremony. This was a very unique event not only because attaining this rank is very rare, but because three of my friends were also awarded the rank of Eagle Scout alongside me.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @mckaymohun. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the April 25 article, Melendez attends select USD preview, confirms college choice.

For more articles about Boy Scouts, read the December 3, 2009 article Daniel brothers soar to top Boy Scout rank or May 9, 2002 article Benefits of Eagle Scout rank evident to students.

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