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Congratulations to Troop 2 Boy Scouts Who Received Eagle Scout Rank

2024 Troop 2 Eagle Scouts are from left, Julian Bender, Cyrus Pruneau, Scoutmaster John Matise, Quentin Corbel, and David Zhao. Photo by Ken Sleeper

Last month, four Santa Monica teenagers were recognized with the highest rank one can earn in Scouting America (formerly Boy Scouts of America).

The four Scouts are Julian Bender, Quentin Corbel, Cyrus Pruneau, and David Zhao. All four young men attended Santa Monica High School. Julian graduated in 2023, while Quentin, Cyrus, and David graduated this past June. All four Scouts were honored at the Troop 2 Eagle Court of Honor at the Kuruvungna Village Springs on South Barrington in West Los Angeles.

The Eagle rank honors exemplary effort, leadership, and service. Only eight percent of Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle. In addition to demonstrating proficiency in first aid, citizenship, camping, swimming, emergency preparedness, and many other skills, Eagle candidates must coordinate and complete a community service project that demonstrates significant leadership abilities. Each of the Scouts being honored led a major project to improve the quality of life of people in the community. All of the projects included many hours of work by other Troop 2 Scouts, working under the direction of the Eagle candidates.

The 2024 Eagle Scouts completed the following community service projects:

• Julian Bender said, “I hosted beach cleanups for my Eagle project because they directly address a pressing environmental issue while also demonstrating to younger Scouts the impact their actions can have. Beaches are so much more than recreational spaces. They are crucial ecosystems that support diverse marine life and provide essential functions, like protection from coastal erosion.”

• Quentin Corbel described, “My Eagle Scout service project was reforestation in the Will Rogers State Park. This California State Historic Park is facing serious issues due to the loss of many trees in recent years. I worked on the tree planting logistics with the California State Park team for several months, then planted trees in four predesignated locations over the course of two days, effectively restoring the tree count in those areas.”

• Cyrus Pruneau shared, “For my Eagle project I repainted the curb markings inside the Los Angeles National Cemetery, which is managed by the United States Veterans Administration. On the dozens of curbs, letters identify the rows of the memorials, which makes it easier for visitors to locate their loved ones. We successfully finished the project within the limited time frame.”

• David Zhao explained that, “Helping my elementary school was something I've always wanted to do, and being able to come back to Franklin Elementary in Santa Monica with a volunteer Scout project all these years later made me feel both proud and grateful. We walked around the campus, noting many things that needed to be renovated or cleaned. There were many ways I could have helped, but I thought that building benches for the kids to rest and socialize on during recess and lunch would be the most beneficial. I proposed this to the principal and he agreed.”

Troop 2 has awarded Eagle Scout rank to 390 deserving individuals in its 77 year history. Troop 2 is one of the oldest and largest Scout troops in the western United States.

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