After saving his sister from drowning in the ocean, William Blake Jr. received a National Honor Medal for saving a life. William used the lifesaving skills he had learned from earning his Lifesaving merit badge. William, of the Hacienda Heights First Ward, Hacienda Heights California Stake, later became an Eagle Scout. A seminary graduate, William attends West Point Military Academy.
As president of U.S. Customs Explorer Post #2720 at the Los Angeles International Airport, Paul Kealohakepahoni Basso checks people through customs and helps stop the smuggling of illegal drugs. For his outstanding work and for his hundreds of hours of other community service, Paul was flown to Washington, D.C., where the U.S. Commissioner of Customs honored him as the National U.S. Customs Explorer of the Year. Paul, of the Bellflower Ward, Cerritos California Stake, is a third-generation Eagle Scout and a seminary graduate.
Two boys in the Olathe Second Ward, Olathe Kansas Stake, recently completed unusual projects in order to earn their Eagle Scout Awards.
After visiting the Haun’s Mill Massacre Site in Caldwell County, Missouri, David Shumway wanted to do something to honor and remember the 17 Church members who were killed there in 1838. He hung signs so that visitors could find the site, and he organized the Scouts in his ward in beautifying the area around the historical marker.
Quilting might not sound like a typical Boy Scout activity, but after Michael Ross visited a shelter for abused children, he wanted to give the children something comforting they could call their own. Mike enlisted the help of the Scouts, Young Women, and Relief Society in his ward to create 30 quilts for the children.
Colt Mattice of the Pinetop-Lakeside Fourth Ward, Pinetop-Lakeside Arizona Stake, was thrilled to turn 12 for two reasons—he received the Aaronic Priesthood and became a Boy Scout. Although he has Down’s syndrome, Colt is very aware of the responsibilities he now has.
Shortly after Colt’s 12th birthday, a boy at Colt’s school fell and badly cut his head. At the accident scene, Colt told a teacher, “I need to help the boy. I am a Boy Scout and a priesthood holder.” The teacher convinced Colt that the boy was being well cared for. As she began walking with Colt back to class, she was surprised to see him stop and, with tears running down his face, kneel down and utter a prayer for the hurt boy. The teacher later told a Church leader that she appreciated Colt’s example and could feel God’s presence all around her as she listened to Colt pray.