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WARD BOASTS SWARMING NEST OF EAGLES

Eagles are not an endangered species in Sandy or elsewhere in the Great Salt Lake Council.

Troop 541, sponsored by the Willow Canyon LDS 5th Ward, honored 22 Eagle Scouts during a court of honor last week in the Sandy East Stake Center.Twenty-two may be a record number of Eagles honored at one time by a single Scout troop, according to Kay Godfrey, council public relations director. But neither the National Council nor the Great Salt Lake Council keeps track of such statistics, said Reed Braithwaite, of the Great Salt Lake Council staff.

Last year more than 1,900 boys received the Eagle Scout award in the Great Salt Lake Council, which has the highest percentage (among 340 councils) of Eagle Scouts in the nation. Nationally, only 2.5 percent of those enrolled in Scouting attain the rank of Eagle. In the Salt Lake Council, 5.5 percent of all registered Boy Scouts achieve Eagle rank. The council has 72,000 youths enrolled, of which 35,000 are Boy Scouts. The Salt Lake Council percentage is computed on the basis of registered Boy Scouts and Varsity Scout-age youths.

Varsity Team coach Lonny Jacobs, Scoutmaster Quinn Parker and a number of their assistants were recognized for providing leadership for the boys, who range in age from 13 to 18. Boys were honored in groups of four in the stake center cultural hall, where a huge American flag served as a backdrop for the program. Each teen's Scouting, academic accomplishments and hobbies were displayed on tables.

Jacobs, a Scouting leader for about 24 years, and Parker, also a veteran Scouter, worked with this particular group of teens for a number of years, helping them move from the rank of Tenderfoot to Eagle. Both men have full-time jobs and volunteer many hours each week to Scouting. Effective Scouting requires a commitment of time and a love for working with teens, but Jacobs and Parker say they are glad they accepted their callings to serve.

Each new Eagle Scout contributed more than 1,000 hours to a wide variety of community service projects. One boy's Eagle service project was sewing quilts for blind children. With others joining him, another teen built shelves for Ronald McDonald House. One teenage boy, 15, spearheaded a project to read stories on tape for Primary Children's Medical Center patients. Other young men solicited the help of other Scouts in painting fire hydrants and registering bicycles.

The boys, who include teens involved in Varsity and Explorer Scouting, recently served as an honor guard during the Olympic torch celebration in Salt Lake City.

"We're proud of these boys, the way they work together and get along so well," said Ralph Kimball, assistant Varsity coach.

Gov. Mike Leavitt, U.S. representatives and senators were among dignitaries who sent letters congratulating the boys on their accomplishments.

The new Eagles in Utah include Robert Beck, Clayton Hansen, Paul Harkness, Jeremy Harryman, Douglas Hurley, Scott Howe, Alex Jackson, Todd Jacobs, Mike Jewkes, Jeff Johnson, Andrew Kimball, Chris Malmrose, Mike Malmrose, Lane Messick, Aaron O'Farrell, Porter Olson, Jeff Parker, Seth Phillips, Cory Reese, Kenny Reese, Nate Seal and Taylor Ward.