For Robert Del Secco, the Scout Master of Troop 1 in Mill Valley, garnering Eagle Scout status is as much about perseverance and dedication as it is about the service, leadership and merit badges required to attain the rank.
“Many young men succumb to what I call the ‘fumes’ (exhaust fumes and perfume) and drop out,” Del Secco said.
Not so for local teens Peter Sanders, Will Mathews, Sam Sweet, Nick Dedona, and Ian Spilman. The quintet made a plan when they were younger to get their Eagle Scout rank in a collective Court Honor, which they did Saturday at .
“These fellows have stuck together through the tough times and the fun times,” Del Secco said, who noted that most Eagle Scouts receive their honor alone. “They have pulled each other along, refusing to leave any of their group behind.”
Dedona and Sweet began scouting as first-graders in Tiger Cubs at Park School. Spilman followed while in second grade into Pack 34 Den. Mathews began as a Tiger Cub in first grade at Strawberry Point and Sanders entered Cub Scouts in Fullerton, with Pack 1216, at the age of 7.
Sanders achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in August 2010 but waited until the rest of his friends completed their Eagle requirements in 2011 so that they could have a collective Court of Honor as the five planned.
In addition to the boys, their families and scout leaders, the ceremony featured a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol from Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, as well as a proclamation from Mill Valley Mayor Ken Wachtel. Representatives from the Mill Valley Fire Department, the U.S. Army and the Western Regional Section of the Boy Scouts of America were also on hand.
The five new Eagle Scouts brings the number produced by Troop 1, which has a roster of 85 scouts, to nine in 2011 year, including Tam High grad and incoming Yale freshman .