NAWILIWILI — Anthony Lopez could not be at the Kaua‘i County Council meeting because he is already at school at Virginia Tech, said Lyle Tabata, Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 148, Wednesday morning.
Eight Boy Scout Eagles generated from Troop 148 shared a joint commendation program with the Kaua‘i County Council and Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.
Tabata, who shares Scoutmaster duties with Myles Uyesono, said the Eagle Scout rank is the highest rank a Boy Scout can attain, the Eagle candidate needing to meet eligibility criteria and successfully completing these requirements prior to reaching age 18.
Among the requirements, each Eagle candidate needs to complete a service project, and the Kaua‘i County Council acknowledged the efforts of the Eagles through a Powerpoint presentation highlighting their accomplishments which ranged from the creation of footwear cases to repainting facilities.
Lopez’s project, presented by Eagle Chris Wong, involved repainting the Kapa‘a High School Student Center while Wong, who spent his summer working at the Kaua‘i Veterans Center, undertook the task of repainting the display aircraft in the center’s parking lot as well as cleaning the exterior walls.Michael Tabata gave back to the elementary school he attended by building and installing backpack racks for the kindergarten and first grade classes at the King Kaumuali‘i Elementary School in Hanama‘ulu.
“At first, we wanted to do this for all the classes, but the immensity of the project toned down the project to classes on the ground floor because students on the upper floor can hang their backpacks from the railings,” Michael said.
Alika Terao, spending six years at the Kamehameha Schools, similarly gave back by creating six footwear racks for the Kamehameha Preschools in Kaumakani to improve the storage of the children’s footwear while improving the safety.
“Previously, the children would lay their footwear on paper laid out by the teachers,” Terao said. “The creation of the racks eliminates the teachers from setting out paper every day and also eliminates the tripping of students over other footwear.”
Nathaniel Elmore repainted and cut back overgrowth at the Lihu‘e United Church’s cottage which is used by the church groups and for a time, served as the meeting place for the Kaua‘i High School mock trial team.
Lyle Nemeth remembers the days he played inline hockey and how the coaches who helped him, then, were still doing the work of keeping the Kaua‘i Inline Hockey Association rink operating in Kapa‘a.
He did a major facelift for the facility, including creating a 24-foot new bleacher system so other young people can enjoy the facility.
Tanner Martinay could not help but observe the inconvenience of not having adequate walkways at Kaua‘i High School, creating two secondary concrete walkways to the central courtyard which would help both the maintenance workers and students in the special education program.
Lyle Tabata said he is proud of the Eagles, noting that many of them started from when they were 10 years old and through perseverance and support from family, attained the Eagle Scout rank.
In answer to JoAnn Yukimura’s question on the number of scouts who become Eagles, Lyle Tabata said the usual number is five percent, but the eight Eagles honored Wednesday represent two years’ of Scouts with 40 percent of the first class attaining Eagles and 80 percent of the second group becoming Eagles. The Eagles also came from the Boy Scouts of America program and the Ventures program, denoted by the Eagles who wore the green uniforms.
“They’re just over achievers, I guess,” the Scoutmaster said. “They’re the leaders of tomorrow because they had to plan, secure materials and coordinate the help. The parents couldn’t use any of their money to complete the project, except to provide snacks.”
Mel Rapozo commented on the savings to the government, Lyle Tabata, also the county’s Deputy County Engineer, estimating that each project saved government about $500 to $1,000, including the labor costs.
“There is a large learning experience associated with the projects,” he said. “They had to work with different agencies to get the permissions and everything they learn help to make them ready for their future.”
Nadine Nakamura, author of the commendations, said in addition to helping the government save funds, each of the projects helped enhance the lives of people.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.