Submitted by Cecilia Pinto, parent of a scout.
Four scouts with Menlo Park Boy Scouts of America Troop 109 recently achieved Eagle Scout status. The scouts, who each earned at least 21 merit badges, acquired leadership and outdoor skills, and completed independent service projects, are:
● Shaan Chilukuri, 17, a junior at Menlo-Atherton High School, started scouting in eighth grade but caught up to his peers, earning 25 merit badges and holding five consecutive troop leadership positions. While volunteering at Abilities United, he recognized that the center needed a place to store outdoor materials and decided to raise money for and build a tool shed as his Eagle Project. Abilities United is a recreational and educational center for mentally and physically challenged people. Shaan plays clarinet in the M-A Advanced Concert Band and is on the school's tennis team. He takes part in the nonprofit organization Amigos de las Americas, which sends Spanish-speaking high school students to Latin America over the summer to work with local rural communities on service projects.
● Alexander Hudson, 17, a junior at Everest Public High School in Redwood City, has been active in scouting since the secondgrade. He is currently junior assistant scoutmaster in Troop 109. Alexander's Eagle Project is entitled "A Platform Stage and Podium for Everest Public High School." His school did not have a stage for assemblies. Alexander assessed the need for speakers to be more visible and have their voices project to the back of the audience. He designed a raised speaker platform and podium, got much of the wood donated, raised money for other materials, and organized volunteers to build them for his school. He will be applying to college in the fall to study environmental science, a passion nurtured during his scouting experiences.
● Kendall Lee, 17, is a junior at Menlo-Atherton High School and has been active in scouting since the second grade. Kendall realized there were no readily available resources for kids to learn about being in the hospital, so for his Eagle Project, he organized a group of scouts, patients, doctors, and friends to develop a program called "Kids Embracing Life," an informational resource for teens with the goal of helping them feel more comfortable about their hospital experience (www.kidsembracinglife.org). Kendall is currently junior assistant scoutmaster in Troop 109. He plays tenor saxophone in the M-A Advanced Jazz Band and pit orchestra, works as a lighting designer at both the M-A Performing Arts Center and the student-run Grab Bag Theater, and runs a small web-design business.
● Alex Pinto, 16, a sophomore at Menlo-Atherton High School, has been active in scouting since the fifth grade and has earned 29 merit badges. His Eagle Project, "Squirrel Boxes", involved raising money for materials and leading scouts in constructing 30 nest boxes for the SPCA in Burlingame. The boxes either housed injured or abandoned squirrels at the Burlingame facility, or were used to transport and reintroduce the squirrels back into the wild. Alex is interested in math and science.
Troop 109 meets in the Hillview Middle School library in Menlo Park.
Go to mptroop109.com/ for more information on Troop 109.