From left: Lucas Oune, Brandon Sasaki, Joshua Suzuki, Ryan Leung, and Kevin Hazama. Not pictured: Kyler Goto, Christopher Iba.
ANAHEIM — Boy Scout Troop 578, sponsored by Orange County Buddhist Church (OCBC) in Anaheim, has recognized seven scouts who recently attained the rank of Eagle Scout.
On May 26, an Eagle Court of Honor was celebrated with their family, friends and fellow scouts. The boys were presented with Eagle neckerchiefs, badges, and pins.
Special guests in attendance were Minister’s Assistant Ellen Crane, OCBC President Alan Endo, and Jodi Hisamoto, representing OCBC Buddhist Women’s Association. The ceremony included an inspirational speech by Trenton Tanioka, math teacher at Richard Gahr High School and former Eagle Scout from Troop 578.
To be considered for the Eagle Scout rank, the highest award a Boy Scout may earn, a candidate must be active in his troop, hold a leadership position, earn at least 21 merit badges (including 13 Eagle required badges), complete a leadership service project benefiting his local community, and receive letters of recommendation.
For the boys, the leadership skills, organizational skills, sense of community and commitment are a foundation for a lifetime of active citizenship. The Eagle Award project is the culmination of all the work the boys put forth to advance through the ranks as well as something that fulfills a need within the community and leads to positive change.
• Joshua Mitsuo Suzuki, son of Sean and Wendelyn Suzuki, is a graduate of Troy High School and had completed the Troy Tech Program. During his four years of high school, he was heavily involved in cross country and track and field. In addition, he participated in the Japanese Club as well as UNICEF, in which he served as treasurer.
As a scout of Troop 578, Joshua realized at a young age that Boy Scouts involved many fun experiences and relationships that were not available from school. As a result, he took pride in his accomplishments as a scout and made sure to participate in multitude of opportunities that scouting provided. His favorite experiences consisted of the Mt. Whitney trek, Northern Tier, Japan, and Belize trips. Joshua enjoyed snorkeling, hiking, and canoeing, and these outings, as well as others, gave him the chance to partake in these activities.
Being with the troop for seven years, Joshua has had much leadership experience, and he has grown more confident and mature from his time with the troop. From his first year in the troop, he has served as historian, scribe, quartermaster, patrol leader, instructor, and troop quartermaster, and eventually became assistant senior patrol leader. Over the years, he has had many scout leaders and he has utilized his experiences with them to construct his own skills as a leader.
For his Eagle project, Joshua constructed two wooden trashcan enclosures for the Fullerton Arboretum. For decades, the arboretum has introduced the public to botanical diversity in California, displaying hundreds of plant species native to the state as well as foreign species from around the world. While it provides an extravagant and peaceful environment for visitors, it has had problems with waste disposal and litter, taking away from the nursery experience. The arboretum had only a few trashcans for such a big facility and all waste was being disposed of in one place.
Joshua helped to solve this problem with his Eagle project. His trashcan enclosures provided additional places to dispose of waste. In addition, the three labeled compartments of each enclosure helped to ensure that trash, landfill, and recyclables would not be mixed.
In the fall, Joshua will continue his education at Cal State Long Beach, where he will study marine biology in hopes of pursuing his passion.
• Kevin Junichi Hazama, son of Jon and Kay Hazama, is a graduate of Brea Olinda High School. He was an AP scholar, and loves to learn about math and science.
He has been an active member of the Junior Young Buddhist Association from OCBC for three years, serving as the athletic chair on cabinet this year. He has played SEYO basketball with the same team since second grade, and has volunteered for the Chibiko basketball clinic for the last two years.
Kevin has been in scouting since he was a Tiger Cub and bridged into Boy Scouts after the fifth grade. He has served in a plethora of positions for Troop 578 ranging from patrol scribe, historian, quartermaster, assistant patrol leader and patrol leader to troop historian, instructor, assistant senior patrol leader, and junior assistant scoutmaster. His favorite Boy Scout trips were those to Japan and Belize.
His Eagle project included building a sign, planting new drought-tolerant plants, and creating a drip irrigation system for the Brea United Methodist Preschool, which he attended for two years. Dean Yamanaka was his project advisor and was involved every step of the way.
In the fall, Kevin will attend Fullerton College to study biology, then transfer to a University of California school. He hopes to become a worker in the medical field.
• Lucas Tatsuo Oune, son of Michael and Noreen Oune, graduated last May from Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, where he was a four-year member of the Sunny Hills Lancer Regiment Marching Band, serving as Brass Section leader. He was an AP scholar and active member in the Sunny Hills High School Engineering Program and the Conservatory of Fine Arts (COFA).
He was also a member of OCBC Shockwave Boys Basketball team.
Lucas is going to attend CSU Fullerton in the fall with a focus on computer engineering.
Having been in scouting for 14 years, he appreciates and is grateful for the values instilled in him, his many friendships, and his experiences, especially the lessons learned in fishing, skiing, hiking in the mountains, climbing to the summit of Mt Fuji, and attending Japan Jamboree 2013. He also appreciates the leadership, inspiration and knowledge he has acquired from his adult leaders, who have had a profound inspiration and impact on his scouting and educational path.
Lucas led his fellow scouts in the planning, design and building of three drum racks for his fellow marching band members at Sunny Hills High School. He participated in many Eagle Scout projects within Troop 578 and decided to do one that not only would give back to his school, but also to his fellow band members.
Lucas felt a sense of accomplishment, great honor, and satisfaction when he presented his newly built drum racks to the band director and fellow band members. The band director and students arranged and put them to use right away, and they still remain at the school to this day. His project advisor was Dr. John Nishimoto, current scoutmaster and father of a scout in Troop 578.
• Ryan Dao Leung, son of Roger and Kasie Leung, is a junior attending Oxford Academy High School in Cypress, where he takes many rigorous AP courses and currently plays on the school’s varsity basketball team.
He has been involved with OCBC and SOC since he was six. He is a member of SOC Octagon and has served one year as vice president. He has played in SEYO basketball since second grade and loves going to all the tournaments.
Ryan has been in scouting since Wolf Cubs in OCBC’s Cub Scout Pack and eventually bridged into Troop 578’s Boy Scout Troop. He has served in several leadersh