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The City Journals

Cottonwood Heights Troop Leaders Will Award 19 Eagle Scouts in One Year

Jan 04, 2016 12:44PM ● By Bryan Scott

By Brian Jones

Cottonwood-Holladay - According to the Boy Scouts of America, only about 7 percent of all scouts received their Eagle Scout award in 2013. For one Cottonwood Heights troop that is serious about scouting, those numbers don’t even come close to where they want to be. Troop 1571, based in the Old Mill area of Cottonwood Heights, expects to have 19 young men receive their Eagle Scout Awards between April 2015 and May 2016. 

Preston Johnson, Hayden Johnson, Dylan Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Hakan Uriona-Ashaboglu, Carson Barnes, Preston Bland, Hunter Broschinsky, Taylor Broschinsky, Ethan Van Drimmelen, Bryson Armstrong, Carter Brown, Parker Law, Eric Wagner, Taylor Davies, Silas Mills, Joshua Petersen, Noah Emfinger and Joseph Wardle have all either received their Eagles already or are scheduled to receive them at a Court of Honor to be held next spring.

Shane Petersen, current chair of troop 1571’s planning committee, says the unusual rate of accomplishment among the group’s young men surprises even him. 

“In all my years in scouting, I’ve never seen or heard of any other troop with this kind of success level,” he said.

In Petersen’s opinion, that success is the result of a combination of many factors, including supportive family members, a culture of continued scouting success and exemplary young men. He is quick to praise the families of the boys for being consistently supportive of the responsibilities each young man assumes in attempting to reach the ultimate goal in scouting.  

In addition to years of accumulating merit badges in countless disciplines, each scout’s quest for his Eagle culminates in a final project, planned and directed by the scout, which will benefit the community in some way. Eagle projects among the troop’s recent Eagle recipients include such community service as sanding and finishing the bridge at Old Mill Park, collecting books, games and educational materials for underprivileged children at the YMCA, collecting supplies for donation to Primary Children’s Medical Center and installing and maintaining an American flagpole at a community park in commemoration of U.S. veterans. 

While the ultimate credit for reaching such an impressive achievement ultimately belongs to the boys, Petersen maintains that perhaps the single biggest factor contributing to Troop 1571’s collective success is a chain of scout leaders who made their scouts’ success a priority. 

Over the last several years, Jarred Anderson, David Barnes, Eric Van Drimmelen, Roger Bland and Michael Wardle have each displayed a level of commitment to scouting and to the troop’s young men that has allowed their scouts to reach heights that would not otherwise have been possible. 

“So much of the troop’s success is related to its outstanding scout leaders,” Petersen said. “It’s a situation where that level of commitment eventually, over many years, results in a tradition where success is expected, and it becomes a matter of maintenance. It keeps itself rolling.” 

It remains to be seen whether Troop 1571 can maintain such an incredible rate of success among its incoming scouts. Regardless of future results, however, the troop has produced not only impressive numbers, but young men the entire community can be proud of. If you ask any of the group’s current or past leaders, they’ll undoubtedly tell you that’s the whole point.