By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Twenty-six scouts from Troop 223 were honored at this year’s Eagle Court of Honor on Tuesday, November 26, at Sprague Auditorium at St. Matthew’s Parish for earning their Eagle Scout Award.
Troop 223 has advanced over 700 Scouts to the rank of Eagle, more than any other in the nation. The rank of Eagle Scout is something that can be kept on a Scout’s resume for life— helping them get into college, advance in the military and more.
“An Eagle Court of Honor is for the sole purpose of conferring to the highest honor,” Mike Lanning, Scoutmaster of Troop 223, said to the Palisadian-Post. “These are young people leading skillfully, making good choices, serving others.”
Lanning has been a Scout since he was a kid: “I’ve always been a Boy Scout. I’ve been active since I was 9 years old and now I’m 87 years old.”
Lanning joined Troop 223 during his junior year at UCLA in 1952, and shared that his role as a leader has been, and continues to be, very rewarding.
The event began with a dinner for the families and guests of the Eagle Scouts. There were presentations and congratulatory citations from Mayor Eric Garcetti, Governor Gavin Newsom and Congressman Ted Lieu, read by first year Scouts.
To conclude the night, all of the Eagle Scouts were presented by graduated Eagle Scouts and given the chance to share what they have accomplished in their time in the troop.
The event also celebrated the Troop’s Eagle projects. Prior to the Court of Honor, the Scouts were responsible for finding a project that benefited a nonprofit organization, planning it and managing others as they collectively worked on it. These projects required a minimum of 100 hours of service.
Nick Nissen, a now graduated Eagle Scout, partnered with the American Art Association through a program called Teaching Gardens for his project. Nissen chose a school in East Los Angeles and built garden boxes for the kids, as well as tidied up the school and playground.
“It was unique for the Troop because it was the first time the American Art Association had worked with the Boy Scouts,” Nissen said. “I hope it’s something that can continue on.”
Nissen’s father, Nicholas Nissen Sr., was also an Eagle Scout as a kid and received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award earlier this year, the highest honor presented by the National Eagle Scout Association.
“One of my own personal successes in life was the successes I had in Boy Scouts … those were successes and lessons that I took with me, and that I very much wanted my sons to experience,” Nissen Sr. said to the Post.
These lessons are instilled in graduating Scouts for a lifetime. Andrew Yang, another Eagle Scout, shared that being a Scout has helped him with his leadership skills.
“I’m a much more confident person in public speaking and leading other people, before this I was shy,” Yang said. “I think it was a very valuable experience.”
Following the Eagles’ Court of Honor, Jack Coleman shared what becoming an Eagle Scout means to him.
“To me, it means that I am somebody who is dedicated to doing the best I can for myself and others,” Coleman said. “And the best part of it was definitely the comradery that I felt at the end of the five-year journey.”
For more photos, see Page 5.
Troop 223 is currently accepting new Scouts for the new year. For more information or questions about joining, contact Assistant Scoutmaster Greg Frost at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 310-291-4653.