Fox Island’s John Ohlson was the last person to become an Eagle Scout in Tacoma’s Boy Scouts of America Troop 27 before its demise years ago.
His son, Alex, was the first Eagle Scout in Ohlson’s newly resurrected Troop 27 on Fox Island. Troop 27 now boasts 27 Eagle Scouts, and this month Ohlson again championed the Court of Honor for the troop’s swearing in of new Eagle Scouts, the highest honor of Boy Scouting. This time, five scouts made Eagle at the Troop’s Eagle Court of Honor the first Saturday of this month at Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church.
This ceremony was unique in that all new Eagles were high school freshmen, Robert Zusy of Peninsula High and Gig Harbor High’s Aidan Toney, Everett Ruuska, Jackson Plymale and Brenden Rivera.
“This is what I believe it takes to be an Eagle Scout: organization, responsibility and effective communication,” said Jackson Plymale, whose Eagle project was installation of a Carpet Ball game table for the Youth Room at One Hope Church. “When I joined Scouts, I spent hours packing for my first camping trip, and 90 pounds later my pack was ready! For the next few years, scouting would teach me to be organized. Not just in packing, but for school, homework, sports and scouting projects. I am grateful for the opportunities Scouting has given me.”
“Three years ago, I started volunteering at FISH food bank to complete a merit badge,” said Ruuska. “They needed an outdoor recycle structure that could store a large amount of cardboard. For my Eagle project, I designed, built and installed it with the help of Scouts from Troop 27.”
Rivera wanted to do something that would help others enjoy doing what they love.
“My family loves to garden,” he said. “I did yard work and other odd jobs to raise money for supplies and built raised garden beds for the Fox Island Community Garden with the help of my friends and family. Being an Eagle Scout is an accomplishment that shows I live by the Scout Law in everything I do at school, home and on the sports field.”
The Eagle project for Zusy, a freshmen at Peninsula High, was a path and bench at Harbor Ridge Middle School dedicated to retired teacher Paula Tweten. He felt the Eagle Court of Honor was a chance to thank all those that helped him along the way.
“I have always wanted to be an Eagle Scout, and it has been a great journey across the past 10 years,” Zusy said. “I have lots of great memories, and have learned many great skills. I look forward to passing on the skills I have learned as an Eagle Scout and will always live my life according to Scout values.”
“For myself, being an Eagle Scout means having an obligation to give back to my community,” said Toney. “This is why I built garden beds for the Curious by Nature preschool for my Eagle Scout project. I specifically chose an environmental theme because I believe that it’s extremely important to educate the next generation about nature, and the importance of maintaining the environment.”
For more, contact John Ohlson at 253-380-4100.
My sincere congratulations to these fine young citizens on their HUGE accomplishment!
Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.