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March 24, 2010 > Three new eagle scouts

Three new eagle scouts

Submitted By Cindy Ono-Lam
Photos By courtesy of Cindy Ono-Lam

On February 28, 2010, three young men were honored at Troop 449's Court of Honor, Fremont. Having enjoyed scouting for more than 11 years, Michael Fern, Geoffrey Lam, and Scott Seymour successfully attained the rank of Eagle Scout. Only four percent of Scouts progress this far.

The Eagle Scout Award is the highest award available to youth members of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). It is recognized by the National Court of Honor, presented through the San Francisco Bay Area Council in the Scout Troop's Court of Honor.

To become an Eagle Scout, a Scout must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, of which 12 are required. After achieving the rank of Life Scout, which immediately precedes that of Eagle, he must serve actively in a Troop leadership position for at least six months. While a Life Scout, and in working toward the rank of Eagle Scout, each young man must plan, develop and undertake a service project helpful to a religious institution, school or community. He must demonstrate, through the testimony of character references and otherwise, that he lives by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law in his daily life. Finally, he must appear before a Board of Review.

Fern, Lam and Seymour spent more than six months to prepare and complete their Eagle Scout projects which benefited Fremont Unified School District and the local community. Each completed a project description, met with the BSA Council, solicited donations to cover costs of materials, organized and planned each work session, recruited fellow Scouts and friends to help execute their projects. The BSA Board of Review interviewed each for an hour interview to determine successful completion of all the requirements.

Fern completed his Eagle Project at Glankler Pre-School, where he built five over-sized "Changing Tables." He began by drawing plans, raised funds then began construction. The construction phase entailed organizing his volunteers and instructing them on what was to be achieved at each of six, weekend work parties. The "Changing Tables" were delivered to a grateful Glankler staff. Fern successfully passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review on September 24, 2009.

Lam completed his Eagle Scout Project at Fremont's Irvington High School by constructing a Boys' Junior Varsity baseball bullpen and Girls' softball bullpen. Not only does the school benefit but it is available to local Little Leagues. He completed a project description and organized seven work parties; he planned for and acquired all resources and supplies. His Brownsea Leadership skills proved invaluable and he passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review on December 22, 2009.

Seymour also completed his Eagle Project at Glankler Pre-School. He enlisted the help of fellow Scouts to demolish an existing shade structure and construct and paint an improved replacement. He also assembled sand tables, a sand box and installed a fence around the play structure. After his work plan was approved, Seymour employed his Brownsea Leadership skills to manage seven work parties and successfully passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review on November 24, 2009.

Fern, Lam and Seymour have been schoolmates and friends since preschool and first grade. As Seniors at Irvington High School, Fremont, they have not only been involved in Scouting but have participated in community league sports, school sports and held part-time jobs. Fern and Seymour played baseball and basketball; Lam played baseball and golf.

Over the years, they have had different interests, achieved different goals and attended different Junior High Schools but Scouting kept them together and they are close friends. Fern, Lam and Seymour all agree that this was their opportunity to give back to Fremont and the community in which they have grown up.

Their parents, Jeff and Pat Fern, Wilson and Cindy Lam and Larry and Cathy Seymour, are extremely proud of them for all their accomplishments, for their dedication to Scouting and for their friendship.

"The boys are all fine young men and will be missed," says Troop 449 Scoutmaster Paul Hillar who encourages their continued participation as Venture Crew members but understands their time may be limited because of college enrollment.

Seymour Sr. was the boys' Pack 114 Cubmaster and became Troop 449 Scoutmaster when the trio progressed from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. Two years ago, he stepped aside to become Troop 449's Eagle Scout Advisor and is also Troop 449's first Eagle Scout, honored in 1968. Larry and Scott are the first "Father and Son" team to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout in Troop 449.

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