Yokota teen earns Eagle Scout status
Boy Scouts of America Troop 45 member, Tristan Laliberte pictured left, renders the Scout Sign while receiving the Eagle Scout oath from Scoutmaster Robert Hawthorne on Saturday, May 15th at the Yokota Air Base Par 3 Golf Course pavilion. Other Eagle Scouts, to include John Cuenin, the Asia East District Executive, joined Tristan during the ceremony to show their support for his tremendous accomplishment.
Laliberte, a 10th grader at Yokota High School, who is a scholar, athlete, and leader, began as a Cub Scout when he was only six years young. Of course, Tristan had plenty of support from his parents over the years to help him ascend to his current rank, not to mention his fellow scouts and Scoutmasters.
According to the National Eagle Scout Association, “To earn the Eagle Scout rank, the highest advancement rank in Scouting, a Boy Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills.
Although many options are available to demonstrate proficiency in these areas, a number of specific skills are required to advance through the ranks—Scout rank, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. To advance, a Boy Scout must pass specific tests that are organized by requirements and merit badges.”
Currently, about 4% of Scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout, that’s less than 1% of the U.S. male population. Some of the more famous Eagle Scouts include Neil Armstrong, astronaut and first man on the moon, Gerald Ford - U.S. President (1st Eagle Scout to be President), and Donald Rumsfeld who served as the 13th and 21st Secretary of Defense.
To be eligible for Eagle Scout consideration, every Life Scout must complete an Eagle Scout Service Project. Tristan chose a project in support of the Yokota community by building a fire pit at the Par 3 Golf Course pavilion.
“It may not look it, but a lot of work went into that project, everything from getting the paperwork signed, to buying the actual materials, and actually building the thing,” he said. “I first heard about this project when my mentor, Mr. Holladay, suggested I could either do that or I could beautify the flower garden at the middle school… I'll be honest, it was probably one of the most difficult things I have ever done.”
Troop 45, currently 32 members strong, has a knack for producing Eagle Scouts. According to Scout Master Hawthorne, Tristan Laliberte, Riley Johnson, Caleb Poock, Jacob Mansberger, Kody Hanson (College), and Jacob Conger (College) have all earned the prestigious rank during his tenure.
Hawthorne has been with the Boy Scouts of America at Yokota since 2013. He was Pack 49's Committee Chair until his son finished Cub Scouts and crossed over into Boy Scouts.
Hawthorne then became an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 45 in March 2014 and Scoutmaster in August of 2015. “I think scouting teaches a boy how to make good ethical and moral choices, by instilling the Scout Oath and Law and helping them become responsible adults,” said Hawthorne.
Eagle Scout Laliberte will be at Yokota Air Base for the foreseeable future, “Many people think you get Eagle and you're done; however, now that you're an Eagle, you are expected to lead the way for others, directly or indirectly,” said Tristan. “I plan to still serve my troop, my family, and my Japanese and base-side community…I wish to do even more than I did in these past years.”
Know someone whose accomplishments, talents, job, hobby, volunteer work, awards or good deeds qualify them for 15 minutes of fame? How about someone whose claim to glory is a bit out of the ordinary – even, dare we say, oddball? If so, nominate them here.
Spotlight on You Gallery