Scouts Enrich the Bay Area Community


Karmi Chan, Staff Writer

Scouting award traditions remain prominent at Miramonte High School. Through dedication and hard work, several students have received the greatest possible honor in scouting: the Eagle Award for boys and its equivalent for girls, the Gold Award.

Many students have been involved in scouting since kindergarten, including junior Drew Holland and senior Selena MacDuff who both recently received these awards.

Holland has been a Boy Scout since sixth grade and was a Cub Scout previously. This past year he worked tirelessly to obtain his Eagle Award. Holland completed an Eagle Scout Project along with a service project, earned merit badges, and participated in outdoor adventures. Holland said he enjoyed every step of the long process.

The main part of the Eagle Award is the community service project. Holland picked fruit off trees in the Happy Valley area and donated this fruit to the food bank. He conserved fruit that would normally fall to the ground and rot, since many of the homeowners didn’t use the fruit on their trees. In the end, Holland donated about 1800 pounds of fruit to the Contra Costa Food Bank.

The overall scouting experience has been a blast for Holland. He enjoyed spending time with his troop backpacking in the Sierra Nevadas, river rafting, and camping. The process taught him valuable life lessons.

“I learned tons about the outdoors and gathered a lot of life skills,” Holland said.

MacDuff spent last summer working towards her Gold Award, putting in roughly 150 hours over three months on a project that will have a lasting effect on the community.

Her project raised awareness about the effects of pediatric cancer. She created and distributed about 300 flyers and distributed them to the community.

With aid from her church, and through movie nights and other community functions, MacDuff educated people about pediatric cancer. The community played a huge role in helping MacDuff obtain her award.

“It was really cool to see all the support in my community,” MacDuff said. “People are so willing to give.”

MacDuff also hand-made approximately 175 fleece blankets that she donated to the Children’s Hospital in Oakland.

MacDuff wanted to donate the blankets because she found that the children at the hospital took comfort in having them.

When choosing her project MacDuff was inspired by one of her friend’s experiences with leukemia. Her friend found comfort in her stay at the hospital when someone brought a wagon full of blankets to her ward, and MacDuff wanted to bring this contentment to others and make a lasting impact on the patients’ lives.

Both MacDuff and Holland said they thoroughly enjoyed their projects.

“The experience was blast,” Holland said. “I gained so much life experience through the process.”