Boy Scouts (from left) Kiano Stoppani, Austin Law and Doug Dunbar recite pledges at an Eagle Scout awards assembly Sunday afternoon. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell
by MICHAEL DASHIELL
The relieved looks on their faces said it all.
By the time a young man has reached Eagle Scout status, he’s progressed through five other ranks, achieved at least 21 merit badges — including first aid, environmental science, three citizenship badges and 16 more — completed a civic project and served six months as a troop leader.
So it came with much thanksgiving for three Sequim youths, their families and Scout families when they were awarded the Eagle Scout rank Sunday afternoon.
Doug Dunbar, Austin Law and Kiano Stoppani, all sophomores at Sequim High School, accepted thanks, received advice and celebrated with friends at the Nov. 14 ceremony at the Sequim Prairie Grange.
Stoppani, one of two Scouts from Troop 1491 to receive the honor this year, said some of his favorite memories of Scouting include going to camps, particularly learning how to snowboard at the Boy Scouts’ Camp Sheppard near Crystal Mountain.
Stoppani started Scouting comparatively late in life (age 11).
“From the beginning, I always wanted to be an Eagle Scout,” he said.
His Eagle Scout project was organizing revegetation of the lower campground loop at Sequim Bay State Park.
Law, from Scout Troop 90, said he felt challenged to achieve his Eagle Scout after his brother Andrew earned the coveted status.
“The hardest part was sticking with it,” Law said. “A lot of times you want to give up.”
Law’s project included clearing brush and overgrowth to create a grassy picnicking area at the Sequim Prairie Grange.
Dunbar, from Troop 1491, built a supply cabinet for the American Red Cross.
Dunbar said he’s been in Scouting since kindergarten.
“Sticking with it (was hard),” Dunbar said. “But it was definitely worth it, learning all this stuff.”
In 2009, about 5 percent of all Boy Scouts earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.