Four teenagers from Culver City Troop 108 have been inducted as Eagle Scouts, the highest rank bestowed by the Boy Scouts of America.
Michael and Joseph Barreto, Russell Ang, and Thomas Clifford were honored at a formal ceremony on January 31 in the Rotunda Room of Veterans Memorial Auditorium.
Culver City Mayor Andrew Weissman presented each scout with a Commendation from the City of Culver City congratulating them for their hard work and dedication to the principles of scouting.
In addition, special plaques were given to the scouts by Don Martin on behalf of Grace Lutheran Church, the sponsor of Troop 108.
Presiding at the event was Scoutmaster Peter Stewart, who was joined by former Scoutmaster William Smythe in presenting the four scouts with their Eagle Awards. Smythe served as mentor to the scouts in working on their Eagle requirements. Also attending and speaking at the ceremony was Boy Scouts Crescent Bay District Committee Chairman Jenson Crawford.
Only 5% of the millions of youths who join the Scouts each year eventually reach the rank of Eagle. To do so, one must earn at least 21 merit badges, provide numerous hours of service to the community and demonstrate leadership to peers and troop leaders.
Perhaps the toughest requirement, however, is to organize and manage a large, service-oriented project that involves fellow Scouts and other volunteers.
Joseph Barreto's Eagle project involved leading a team of volunteers in assisting the Friends of Ballona and the State of California by removing old termite-damaged trail markers and clearing an overgrown trail in the environmentally sensitive dunes area of the Ballona Wetlands in Playa del Rey.
Complementing the work of his brother, Michael Barreto’s project involved leading a group of volunteers in the installation of new markers along the 420-yard Ballona Wetlands dunes trail, using termite-resistant redwood pickets and durable plastic clothesline.
Michael and Joseph are the sons of Lindberg Park’s Antonio Barreto, Jr., judge for many years at the Culver Municipal Court and an Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 108, and Kathleen Barreto.
For his project, Russell Ang organized and conducted two weekends of work by 20-30 people doing beach cleanup at Dockweiler Beach on behalf of Heal the Bay. Russell is the son of Elizabeth and Wilfredo Ang, Jr., of Culver City.
Thomas Clifford led a used-clothing drive over two weekends in Lindbergh Park for distribution by the nonprofit family assistance organization One Voice. Thomas is the son of Mary and Michael Clifford of Santa Monica.
The four boys, all high school seniors, began their scouting careers in 2001 as Tiger Cubs in Pack 18 of Culver City, earning their Arrow of Light award and bridging to Boy Scouts in 2006. They each earned the rank of Life Scout at age 13.