Rite of passage marks Scouts’ long-term achievement

February 17, 2015

The 15 boys who stood on the stage were mostly solemn, but some of them allowed grins to creep across their faces as they absorbed the magnitude of the moment.

By Neil Pierson Alex Hammingh is adorned with a new scarf and his Arrow of Light award, signifying his transition into Boy Scouts during a Feb. 3 ceremony at Pacific Cascade Middle School.

By Neil Pierson
Alex Hammingh is adorned with a new scarf and his Arrow of Light award, signifying his transition into Boy Scouts during a Feb. 3 ceremony at Pacific Cascade Middle School.

Cub Scout packs across the country hold annual transition ceremonies for 11- and 12-year-olds who have fulfilled the requirements to join Boy Scouts. Cub Scout Pack 682, which draws its members from Issaquah and Sammamish, honored its graduating fifth-graders Feb. 3 at Pacific Cascade Middle School.

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Skyline senior attains Eagle honor with Scout troop

October 28, 2014

Most boys who enter the world of Scouting will make a lot of fond memories and learn many valuable lessons, but fewer than one in 10 will accomplish what Jonathan Chriest is doing this weekend.

Jonathan Chriest

Jonathan Chriest

At a Nov. 2 Court of Honor ceremony at The Plateau Club, the Skyline High School senior will receive his Eagle Scout rank from the Boy Scouts of America.

The National Eagle Scout Association estimates about 2.25 million boys have attained the honor since 1912, which might seem like a lot until learning that number represents only 5 percent of all Scouts.

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Civil savior — Scout spearheads Civil War gravestone restoration project

September 30, 2014

Nearly 112 years after his death, Civil War infantryman Allan Day has gotten a new gravestone, thanks to a local Boy Scout project.

Day, born in October 1831, died Nov. 7, 1902, in Issaquah. He served in Co. K, 43rd Wisconsin Infantry in the Civil War. His stone over the years had turned a dark gray, and his information was illegible.

That has happened to most of the 18 gravestones of known Civil War veterans buried in Issaquah’s Hillside Cemetery. All of them need to be replaced.

By Kathleen R. Merrill Above, Boy Scouts (from left to right) Jerry Lin, Adam Bussey, Lucas Dolliver, James Adkins, Joel Ruegsegger, René Loredo (of Flintoft’s Funeral Home) and Garrett Pomeroy kneel to work on replacing Civil War veteran Allan Day’s gravestone at Hillside Cemetery.

By Kathleen R. Merrill
Above, Boy Scouts (from left to right) Jerry Lin, Adam Bussey, Lucas Dolliver, James Adkins, Joel Ruegsegger, René Loredo (of Flintoft’s Funeral Home) and Garrett Pomeroy kneel to work on replacing Civil War veteran Allan Day’s gravestone at Hillside Cemetery.

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May 6, 2014

Tiger Mountain

Librarian hopes school will continue for years to come

My personal experience with Tiger Mountain Community High School was limited to about an hour and a half on Dec. 7, 1992.

I was at that time the young adult librarian at the Issaquah Library, and I visited the school to present a program to a group of young parents.

I didn’t know what would be of interest, but I took along cloth books, board books, books about making toys or clothes or baby food — everything I could think of.

In my entire career as a librarian, I’ve never addressed such an interested, even rapt, audience! Those students were so keen to see the materials I’d brought. They loved the hand puppets (which at that time were for circulation), and some decided then and there to convert the stuffed toys they were scheduled to make into hand puppets instead. Their teacher agreed to help them with the project.

I was able to give every parent a copy of “Goodnight Moon,” (and incidentally, I’d really had to work to persuade the library administration to let me have those books for that particular audience).

The teenagers were happy to show me their lovely babies after the program, and to tell me how they were caring for them — only 15 or 16 years old, but devoted caregivers.

I’ve often thought of those students and their children, children who would now be much older than their parents were in 1992. I do hope their lives turned out happily. I’m sure that attending Tiger Mountain Community High School helped a lot in that respect, and that the school will continue to assist all its students for years to come.

Marnie Webb


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Boy Scout Tree Recycling Fundraiser / Jan. 4, 2014

January 8, 2014

Options abound to recycle old Christmas trees

December 31, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. Dec. 31, 2012

Christmas is history, and residents ready to pitch old Christmas trees can do so in different ways.

Chip trees — minus tinsel and other decorations — into landscaping material or ground finer into a composting soil amendment.

Customers tired of evergreens dropping brown needles can set out trees for yard waste collection on regular yard waste collection days.

Haulers do not collect trees decked in flocking or decorations. Contact garbage haulers for details; CleanScapes and Allied Waste — a local name for national company Republic Services — serve Issaquah.

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Who’s News

November 20, 2012

Nicholas Co

Boy Scout Nicholas Co earns Eagle rank

Nicholas Co recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

His Eagle Scout service project was repurposing an unusable space at Issaquah Middle School, contributing nearly 100 hours of service to his community.

Co is the student body president of Issaquah High School, an active member of National Honor Society and he runs as a member of the cross-country and track teams. He is a passionate volunteer of King County Search and Rescue, and was recognized as last year’s Top 5 Youth Responder.

Co plans to study engineering after graduating in June.

Local Boy Scouts complete 80-mile hike in New Mexico

October 30, 2012

Boy Scouts and their dads (from left) Derrick Morton, Trevor Morton, Nick Co, Chris Backus, Doug Backous, Cole Backus, Jonathan Backous, Michael Cecil, Andrew Marsh, Mckinley Melton and Jeff Melton pose on top of Baldy Mountain after their tiring but satisfying hike to the summit. By Michael Cecil

Twelve local teenage Boy Scouts and leaders took the New Mexico wilderness head on in August, hiking 80 miles over a dozen days. The group followed a track in the Philmont Scout Ranch, one of the largest adventure camps owned by the Boy Scouts of America.

The ranch, which covers 214 square miles of wilderness, has seen more than 950,000 Scouts, venturers and leaders since the first camping season in 1939. The ranch has trails that climb from 6,500 feet to 12,441 feet in altitude, and the territory is home to bears and mountain lions, among other natural challenges.

Philmont is well-known in the Scouting world, and ranch visitors are selected for hiking the area through a lottery system that Boy Scout troops can enter every two years. Other national camps also offer scuba diving in addition to hiking.

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Brothers complete Eagle project at Squak Valley Park

August 21, 2012

Kyle (left) and Josh Jancola stand at the trail at Squak Valley Park that they constructed, along with park benches, to fulfill their Eagle Scout requirement. By Christina

On a hot, sunny Thursday in July, Skyline High School brothers Kyle and Josh Jancola spent their day hauling wheelbarrows full of gravel across the trails of Squak Valley Park.

Just ask them, they have the blisters to prove it.

It was all for a good cause though as the 16-year-old brothers completed their Eagle service project and helped improve the Issaquah park.

Kyle built 150 feet of new trail for the park, while Josh assembled and installed three park benches. The brothers hope that the improvements will be positive additions.

“I hope that people eventually would be able to come outside here and enjoy the fresh air,” Kyle said.

The brothers did not complete the project alone, though. Several friends, family members and fellow Scouts gathered to help the morning of July 19.

The heat was an annoyance, the brothers said, but they worked to keep a positive atmosphere with snacks and beverages for the volunteers.

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Who’s News

August 21, 2012

Scouts earn Eagle rank

Two Boy Scouts from Bellevue Troop 626 —    David Adams and Kevin Hays — earned the rank of Eagle Scout, Scouting’s highest honor, at a recent court of honor ceremony at the Bellevue Community Center.

David Adams and Kevin Hays

For his Eagle service project, David designed and led the construction of a wheelchair-accessible gardening table for mentally handicapped clients of the Tavon Center. On the road to Eagle, David earned 22 merit badges, spent many weekends camping and provided countless hours of community service. David was very involved in troop leadership, taking on roles such as historian, troop guide, patrol leader and ultimately senior patrol leader.

Throughout his years in the troop he experienced the outdoors in the usual campouts, such as Camporee and summer camp, but also had the pleasure to experience the boundary waters of Minnesota and Canada through his 95-mile, five-day high adventure canoeing trip, Northern Tier.

David graduated from Liberty High School, where he participated in the service-oriented groups Key Club, Honor Society and the Liberty Welcome Crew. He swam as a member of the Liberty swim team, the Issaquah Swim Team and is currently on the Maple Hills Swim Team. He is an avid Rubik’s Cube speed-cuber, enjoys online games and works at the Newcastle YMCA as a swim instructor and lifeguard. He is attending the University of California, Berkeley, in the fall to study engineering.

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