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Badge of honor
Submitted by Glenn Gullickson on Tue, 11/24/2015 - 12:00am
3 West Valley youths from Boy Scout Troop 99 earn Eagle Scout rank
Three West Valley youths have completed projects to improve their communities in an effort to earn the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank.
Zachary Fish, Jimmy Herman and Brandon Roberts, all members of Troop 99 in Litchfield Park, were recognized as Eagle Scouts during a Boy Scouts Court of Honor event Nov. 8 at Palm Valley Community Center in Goodyear.
Besides earning a number of merit badges and demonstrating Scout spirit, attaining the Eagle Scout rank includes a service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads and manages.
Helping homeless youths
Fish, 18, of Goodyear created a benefit for Homeless Youth Connection — a nonprofit agency in Goodyear that meets the needs of homeless teens in the West Valley — as part of Millennium High School’s 2014 homecoming parade.
The project was important “to raise awareness of the ongoing problem that kids and teenagers who go to our very schools don’t have a home to go to every day,” Fish said.
School organizations contributed items as part of their parade entry fee. Donations of clothes, toiletries and school supplies were also collected the week leading up to the parade and in boxes along the parade route.
Fish and his team of up to 20 Scouts and students spent 140 hours on the project, collecting items estimated to be worth $6,000.
This fall, Fish mentored the student who coordinated the second annual “Millennium Homecoming Parade for the Homeless Youth.” He hopes the event becomes a tradition, he said.
Fish started with Scout groups in the first grade, he said. He works summers at the Boy Scouts’ Camp Emerald Bay at Catalina Island in California.
He is the son of Mitchell and June Fish and is a 2015 graduate of Millennium High School in Goodyear. He is now a freshman at Arizona State University, where he is studying business administration and marketing.
Herman, 18, of Waddell led a team of about 25 people who assisted him in March with clearing an area near a trail at White Tank Mountain Regional Park in Waddell.
Herman was interested in doing a project at the park since he had used its trails as a child and for training hikes with the Scouts, he said.
“I wanted to do my project there to help maintain the park for others to have the same experiences,” he said.
Park personnel identified a three-fourths mile stretch alongside the Ford Canyon Trail in the park’s canyon area where buffelgrass needed to be removed.
It took 215 hours to complete the project, he said.
Herman became intrigued with the idea of Scouting as a kindergartener when he saw Scouts shooting off rockets, he said.
“They told me if I joined, I could shoot rockets, too,” he said.
Eventually, his three younger brothers also joined and his father became a den leader and Scoutmaster.
He is the son of Jim and Jennifer Herman and a 2015 graduate of Verrado High School in Buckeye. He plans to attend Estrella Mountain Community College in Avondale next semester.
Lodging a locker room
Brandon, 16, of Litchfield Park did a project in January that he hopes will contribute to the success of his Millennium High School baseball team.
The task included installing a 12-foot by 5-foot modular office building that was refurbished and used as a coach’s office and locker room. Coaches built wooden lockers and a stool for each player, he said.
Previously, players would change into their uniforms at the school gym a couple of hundred yards away from the field or in their cars in a parking lot next to the field, Brandon said.
To complete the project, Brandon said he led discussions with Millennium High School and Agua Fria Union School District officials, as well as several local businesses.
The mobile unit was purchased with the help of the high school baseball boosters club.
Brandon also installed a new baseball cage and removed trash from around the field.
“These tasks have provided a safer place for the team to play and practice baseball and helped build pride in the program,” Brandon said.
The project took 446 hours with the help of 24 Boy Scouts and leaders and 14 high school baseball players, he said.
Brandon said his Eagle project is being submitted to the Grand Canyon Council, which could be the first step toward having it considered for a national prize that includes a $2,500 scholarship.
Brandon is the son of Tim and Kim Roberts and is a junior at Millennium.
Glenn Gullickson can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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