By David W. Myers
Culver City Boy Scout Troop 113, already considered one of the top Scout troops in the United States, added yet another Eagle Scout last week to its ranks and a second teen took the final step to become the next one.
Aaron Bravo, a longtime Scout and a member of Culver High’s lacrosse team, passed his rigorous Scout Board of Review last week. Bravo, 18, is a senior and plans to become a business major.
Separately, Patrick Bischoff, another veteran Scout and a 17-year-old senior at Culver, completed his all-important community-service project on Saturday. Co-coordinating and completing a service-oriented project that benefits the public is typically the final step before a Scout goes before the Board of Review, a group of Scout officials and other adults who grill the teen about his successes, experiences and plans for the future.
Bischoff plans to go to college and earn his degree in anthropology, a subject that has fascinated him for years.
Less than two percent of the millions of youths who join Scouting each year eventually reach an Eagle ranking, the highest honor that the Boy Scouts of America bestows. To do so, they must earn at least 21 merit badges, provide numerous hours of service to their community, and demonstrate leadership to their peers and troop leaders.
Perhaps the toughest requirement, though, is to organize and manage a large, service-oriented project that involves fellow Scouts and other volunteers. Merely planning the event can sometimes take more than 100 hours, and executing it can take many more.
Aaron Bravo’s project involved a food drive for the food bank operated by St. Augustine’s Church near Downtown Culver City. His fellow Scouts and other volunteers spent hours fanning out across his Carlson Park neighborhood, asking families to donate canned food for the church’s ongoing program for the needy. Bravo and his volunteers then picked the food up from the generous donors the following weekend.
Like Bravo’s mission, Partick Bischoff’s project also took two Saturdays to complete. On April 13, he and several other Scouts went door-to-door in his Sunkist Park neighborhood, asking homeowners to donate unwanted blankets for Upward Bound House—a nonprofit group with offices in both Culver City and Santa Monica whose primary goal is to help homeless persons with minor children and also low-income seniors.
“These two young men exemplify what Scouting is all about—responsible citizenship, character-development, and self-reliance through participation of outdoor activities and educational programs,” said Erik Mayer, Troop 113’s Scoutmaster.
“I couldn’t be prouder of Aaron and Patrick,” he said. “They both have a bright future ahead of them.”
Aaron Bravo is the proud son of Tony Bravo, a well-known local contractor, and Patti Bravo, a homemaker who has spent thousands of hours volunteering for the Scouts since a much-younger Aaron Bravo joined the Cub Scouts more than a decade ago and then started his long journey to become an Eagle Scout.
Patrick Bischoff is the equally proud son of Michael (Mike) Bischoff, another contractor who works all around Southern California, and Julia Bischoff, who supervises the purchasing of goods for the popular chain-store food and supplies giant Smart & Final.
Troop 113 has been serving Culver City’s youth and the entire community for about 60 years. Young boys and teens between the ages of 11 and 18 who are interested in joining should contact Erik Mayer at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply visit the troop’s internet web site, www.bsatroop113.org.