Eleven young men have accomplished what only 2% of all Boy Scouts attain: the rank of Eagle, Scouting’s highest honor.
The Boy Scouts from Troop 578 in Anaheim were recognized at a recent ceremony at the Orange County Buddhist Church.
The large number receiving the award at the same time was a rarity, said Veronica Cahill, spokeswoman for the Boy Scouts of America, Orange County Council.
“It’s unusual because it’s so difficult to make Eagle. It’s a time-consuming process,” Scoutmaster Dennis Yamamoto said.
To qualify for the award, a Scout must earn 21 merit badges and must organize and implement a service-oriented project, which often takes 200 to 300 hours, Yamamoto said.
Troop 578 members, who come from all across Orange County, organized a variety of projects ranging from restoring nature trails at a city park to painting classrooms at churches.
Since 1981, Troop 578 has had 77 Scouts achieve the Eagle rank.
During the last three years that Yamamoto has been scoutmaster, 18 boys have graduated to the Eagle Scout rank. By the end of the summer, half a dozen more troop members are expected to reach the rank, he said.
Yamamoto said he is committed to turning out top Scouts. His father became an Eagle Scout in 1933, and he followed in 1965. Joining the family ranks on Saturday was Yamamoto’s 16-year-old-son, Darrin.
The Orange County Buddhist Church helped to sponsor the troop in May 1978. Currently, there are 65 Scouts and 30 adult volunteers.
And the main lesson for the Scouts? “I hope these kids are able to take away a positive experience that will stay with them forever,” Yamamoto said.
The new Eagle Scouts also include Darryl Chong, 18; Darren Corbitt, 18; Michael Zen Mio, 18; Wesley Miyake, 17; Brian Hideo Nagami, 18; Russell Otsuji, 18; Ricky Rivas, 18; Matthew Zen Yamamoto, 18; Shigeto Todd Yanai, 17; and Sadaki Adam Yenokida, 18.