This was only the third Eagle Scout ceremony for Troop 223 G, and 12 young women were honored with the award on November 20 at St. Matthew’s Sprague Auditorium.
Offering the opening invocation and the closing benediction was Patrol Leader Liz Lowe.
Troop 223 Scoutmaster Mike Lanning and Troop 223G Scoutmaster Larry Kirven offered congratulatory remarks.
Scouts receiving the award were: Brooke Emily Chopiuk, Carlyle Belle Crane, Isabella (Bella) Frances Ekstein, Blaise Livia Ferraro, Beatrice Ellen Kibbler, Stephanos Rose Morning, Celine Sophia Moshrefi, Isabella Joellie Pekarovic, Evgenia Vera Rink, Rashna Behram Vagahiwalla, Kelly Brooke Wagenseller and Greyson Kurumi Weaver.
About the young women, Lanning has said, “These girls truly exemplify the Troop’s Vision of ‘Young People, leading skillfully, making good choices, serving others.’”
To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, a Scout must be an active Life Scout holding a leadership position in their troop for at least six months and provide multiple references who can attest to how they have lived the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
They must also earn a total of 21 merit badges, including 13 required badges such as First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, and Environmental Science or Sustainability, as well as conduct a service project which benefits their community or an organization other than the Boy Scouts of America. They go on high adventure challenges in the outdoors to learn survival.
Finally, Scouts must participate in a Scoutmaster conference and complete a board of review.
“Scouts has taught me an infinite amount of things about myself and the world,” said Morning (John Burrough’s High School. For her community service, she built and delivered a mobile kitchenette and popcorn table for a resource center for LGBTQIA+ and POC youth.
Morshefi (Geffen Academy) said, “The past five years of my life were filled with Monday night meetings and campouts on the first weekend of every month and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. She worked for UCLA Volunteer services, making care-packages for the families in the NICU.
Three Marymount High School students performed diverse community service projects. Pekarovic built rabbit boxes for the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter: Vaghaiwalla built two planter boxes connected by a wooden bench to symbolize the coming together of the housed and unhoused at Safe Place for You, and Crane measured, sanded and painted eight signs for the Paliades Recreation Center.
“I’m so grateful for how Scouting has helped me as a person and helped me grow,” said Ferraro (Notre Dame Academy), who refurbished an outdoor patio space which provides lodging for critically ill patients, while undergoing treatments, and their families. Chopiuk (Notre Dame) added a state-of-the-art irrigation system and planted a selection of drought-resistant plants in the St. Martin of Tours ministry garden.
Oaks Christian High School’s Ekstein said, “I believe the skills we have learned will make us better leaders.” She constructed a redwood picnic table and benches for an outdoor classroom at Calvary Christian School.
Wagenseller (Thousand Oaks High School) created garden boxes and benches for Hero’s Garden at the West Los Angeles Veteran’s Administration. Building four owl boxes was Weaver, who attends Marlborough School.
Rink (St. Monica High School) calls scouting the most memorable days of her teen years. “I’ve learned, grown and had the time of my life in scouting.” She designed and built a vertical garden for Aidan’s Place in Santa Monica.
“Scouting has instilled in moral standards, which I will carry with me throughout my lifetime,” said Kibler, who built benches for the Covenant House California. She attends Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut.
Troop 223 has a nearly 60-year tradition in Pacific Palisades.This Troop has advanced more than 700 Scouts to the rank of Eagle, more than any other in the nation and was the first to recognize young woman as Eagle Scouts.