Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — The Eagle Scout award is the highest advancement rank in Boy Scouting and three local young men were recently recognized for what only a small percentage in the United States achieve.
With friends and family present, Jesse Ramirez, Carson Friedline and Cole McCown were recognized during an Eagle Court of Honor on Feb. 26 at the Susanville Elks Lodge.
Assistant scoutmaster Stan Bales led the candidates in the Eagle Scout pledge where they promised to take on the obligation and responsibilities of the top rank and on their honor, do their best to make their training an example and their rank and influence count strongly for better scouting, citizenship in their troop, community and contacts with other people.
Bales said, “Becoming an Eagle Scout is not just a short thing. You are now an Eagle for the rest of your life.”
Committee chairperson Bob Wilburn said, “Many young men join scouts and learn the many valuable lessons it has to offer, develop confidence in themselves, learn leadership skills and have fun learning about their environment. But not everyone takes on the challenge to climb to the top of the mountain to stand with the eagles.”
Friedline, Ramirez and McCown started their journey as cub scouts and worked their way through the ranks, all in the same den led by Friedline’s mother, Anita Osborn. Then they all became Boy Scouts.
“Full of enthusiasm, they crossed over to Troop 159 as the squirliest bunch of 11-year-olds there ever could be … they have grown and matured over the years and they are the boys now turned young men we’ll present tonight,” Wilburn said.
Being a boy scout is a family tradition as McCown, Friedline and Ramirez followed in the footsteps of their brothers. Ramirez’ brothers, Ahren and Eli, are both Eagle Scouts as is Friedline’s older brother, Carson, who joined the ceremony via Skype from the University of California Santa Barbara.
The mothers had the privilege of securing the Eagle badge over their sons’ hearts and McCown, Friedline and Ramirez presented both their parents with an Eagle pin.
Wilburn and former scoutmaster Joe Ritz presented the boys with their Eagle neckerchief and slide, which was a gift from the Ritz family in honor of their son Chris, a former scout who used to be in the troop but is no longer with them.
According to scoutmaster Eugene Chittock, candidates have to be active in their troops and patrols for at least six months and demonstrate scout spirit and leadership. They have to earn a minimum of 10 merit badges in addition to the 12 required as an Eagle Scout.
He said the skills they learned were planning, development, leadership through service projects to the community, religious institutions and local schools, They also had to pass troop and district reviews, which Chittock likened to a job interview.
Ramirez, Friedline and McCown were able to share their favorite memories of being in Boy Scouts and took the opportunity to thank their families, leaders and Eagle Scout project mentors for their support.
Each mentor was also presented with a pin.
For his project, McCown led a group of scouts and adults and added six benches along the Bizz Johnson Trail. Bales served as his mentor.
Ramirez rebuilt a bridge at Susanville Ranch Park. His brother originally built it, but it burned down. He presented a mentor pin to Joel Rathje.
For the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, Friedline led a group of boys and adults in replacing the flagpole at the Susanville Fire Department. He presented a pin to battalion chief James Moore.
Ramirez’ brother, Eli, also addressed the Eagle Scouts.
After congratulating them, he said, “Now it’s now time to think about you future, the next goals you have in your lives. How are you guys going to accomplish those goals? The same way you accomplished this one. The same lessons you learned in scouting are the same ones you will approach to any goal you achieve.”
He said there are a lot of challenges awaiting them in their future, but encouraged them to set their goals, push forward and to never quit.
“And remember on the way, stop and take a look around and enjoy your lives,” Eli Ramirez said.
During the evening, Ritz also shared the legend of Eagle Mountain and McCown’s parents, Bob and Marci, prepared a pasta dinner for those in attendance.