Twenty-six Boy Scouts from Palisades Troop 223 were awarded the rank of Eagle Scout during a Court of Honor dinner and ceremony at St. Matthew’s Sprague Center on November 26.
The new Eagle Scouts began working towards the highest Boy Scout rank while in fifth grade, each earning a minimum of 21 badges, attending weekly meetings and monthly campouts, serving in a leadership position within the troop, and participating in week-long summer campouts at Emerald Bay on Catalina Island and high-adventure backpacking trips around the country.
Additionally, each Eagle Scout candidate planned and executed a 100-hour service project that benefited a community organization. The teens also demonstrated Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
The projects performed this year provided helpful aid to numerous L.A.-area beneficiaries, ranging from Palisades schools, churches and temples to charitable organizations such as the American Heart Association and the People Concern Santa Monica. Each boy brought a unique background and skill set to his contributions.
The young men are students at New Roads, Pacifica Christian, Willows, Crossroads, Harvard-Westlake, Oaks Christian, Viewpoint, Santa Monica High, Brentwood, Loyola, Palisades High, St. Monica, Park Century and Crespi.
Benefiting the Palisades Presbyterian Church were Lawson Lowe, who built a storage chest and play platform; Sam Ufkes, who built benches and planters and Will Walker, who repaired a bench and worked on landscaping.
Alex Dutka built an arts and crafts table for Kehillat Israel Synagogue. For the Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church, Ben Webber rebuilt sandboxes and performed miscellaneous repairs and maintenance (also at Corpus Christi).
Tackling projects that benefitted the People Concern, an organization that works with the homeless, were Joey Hoover who built two benches, Will Seidel, who built storage shelves for that organization and Aidan Kenefick, who built five large heavy-duty boxes. Caleb Choi built flower planter boxes for the Bread and Roses Homeless Shelter.
Three Eagle Scout candidates fulfilled their requirement by working on the Veterans Administration West L.A. grounds. Wilson Buchanan built benches and picnic tables for the Heroes Golf Course; Eugene Tsai built a permanent billboard at the golf course entrance and also worked on landscaping. William Garland restored raised garden beds at the VA.
Nicholas Nissen designed and built planter boxes for the American Heart Association. Ben Volokh created new trails, installed a sprinkler system and added new plants to the Rustic Historic Grove in Rustic Canyon. Jack Kuhner built a dog agility training structure for the Assistance Dog Program for the Sam Simon Foundation.
Working with Corpus Christi School were Owen Larbalestier, who rebuilt physical education cabinets, and John “Jack” Coleman, who inspected and replaced emergency supplies. Andrew Yang refinished and painted picnic benches and a table for that school.
Kai Biniak set up a composting system at Seven Arrows Elementary. Ty Kushi built storage compartments for the Santa Monica High School Orchestra. Repairing a retaining wall for Marquez Elementary was Andrew Whiteley and building pantry sheds for the school was Oliver Waxtein.
Davis Bland built four benches outside the Calvary Christian School library and Oliver O’Conner built four benches for St. Matthew’s.
At St. Martin of Tours Elementary School, Phillip Stracke built a wooden bench and planter boxes, while Nick Lombardi worked on the garden beds, tables and planters at Rustic Canyon Nursery School .
Troop 223 Leader Mike Lanning has participated in 90 Courts of Honor and was recognized as the 2019 Palisades Fourth of July Parade Marshal for his work with Boy Scouts. He was awarded a Golden Sparkplug from the Pacific Palisades Community Council on December 12 for his work in bringing girls into Scouting.