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New Troop 27 Eagle Scouts welcomed with open arms

Fox Island Boy Scout Troop 27's Eagle Court of Honor was held March 14 in Peninsula High School's Milton Boyd Auditorium. The Eagle candidates were escorted by the Clan Gordon Bagpipe Band. Keynote speaker was former Washington State Representative Larry Seaquist. PenMet Parks Executive Director Terry Lee gave thanks for Eagle Projects at Fox Island Sandspit and Sunrise Park in Gig Harbor. Claudia Gustafson thanked them for Fox Island Community Garden Eagle Projects. Troop 27's first two Eagle Scouts, Alex Ohlson and Jesse Long, gave the new Eagles the Eagle Charge.

To former Scoutmaster John Ohlson, "These seven Scouts are the final seven of the first 20 Eagles in Troop 27's short history, 20 Eagles in seven years. In 48 years, my old Tacoma Troop 27, from 1928 to 1976, made 31 Eagles. I was No. 31. Our son, Alex, was the first new Troop 27 Eagle."

Ohlson retired as Scoutmaster on New Year's Day 2015.

New Eagle Daniel Crone said, "My first memory of scouting was my first campout. We were given a block of wood and told to make a wooden spoon using a pocket knife. I ended up cutting myself. I had lunch with a block of wood with a handle. We ended up winning two awards: cooking and flag folding."

Crone's Eagle Project was building a potting shed for the Fox Island Community Garden.

“A most memorable trip was to Lake Christine," said Ian Collins. "Other boys and I had very little experience hiking and keeping warm. The lake was the coldest place on Earth, and we'd all chosen to not bring anything warm because we were a bunch of fearless 11-year-olds. Hiking the cliffs above the campsite and viewing Mount Rainier was the most breathtaking and beautiful sight I will ever see."

Collins' Eagle project was building a new trail to the beach at the Fox Island Sandspit.

For Jarrett Siler, "The countless outings were so memorable, from the time that we ate freeze dried food at Lake Christine to the time we won The Great White Newt Regatta at Camp Hahobas. These memories, including (the fact) that I could never pack for an outing without my mom taking everything out and re-packing it, will stay with me for all my life."

Building a new picnic area at the Fox Island Sandspit was Siler's Eagle Project.

"I have been able to develop leadership skills, help others and work in the community while having fun and getting to meet people that are now some of my best friends," said Mason Yonkers. "I say with confidence, scouting has had a huge positive effect on my life. I learned from scouting not give up on what you are trying to achieve."

Building a new irrigation system for the Fox Island Community Garden was Mason's Eagle Project.

Matthew Wild remembers Ohlson teaching him to put up his first tent at Blake Island.

“Scouting helped me become a more confident camper and more confident in my everyday life,” Wild said. “Going up the ranks and finishing each requirement taught me the value of setting goals and meeting them. I learned most at summer camp, gained respect for the outdoors, other people, and the world as a whole. Because of scouting I want to be the best that I can be."

Wild's Eagle Project was building a new trail from the parking lot to the park at the Fox Island Sandspit.

"I’ve gained from scouting survival skills, camping and knot tying, and life experiences I will never forget,” Thomas Ichiyama said. “My most memorable Scouting experience was the 2010 Centennial National Jamboree. I spent days in Washington D.C. sightseeing, and visited Gettysburg and the Smithsonian."

Ichiyama's Eagle Project was constructing a new picnic table at Gig Harbor's Sunnyside Park.

Several great memories stand out for Mitchell Baltmiskis.

“When we were about halfway through the week at summer camp, we spent a night under the stars,” he said. “While packing to leave, I accidentally left a bag outside my tent. It held things I'd need including spending money. It didn’t realize I’d left it until we returned to find it had disappeared. The day we were to leave, a scout stumbled on it in the bushes. It was torn and snacks I’d left were gone. Raccoons took my bag and snacks but not my money — far too late to use any of it.”

Baltmiskis built a cardboard recycling bin for the Mary Bridge Orthopedic Guild Thrift Shop in Gig Harbor for his Eagle Project.

Congratulations to our seven newest Troop 27 Eagles!

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