McLean earns Eagle Rank while serving community

-- Staff reportMarch 14, 2013 

Phillip McLean of Boy Scout Troop 341 recently earned his Eagle Rank and celebrated with an Eagle Court of Honor Ceremony at the Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church. He was presented with his Eagle Pin along with a gift of a hand carved wooden Eagle created by Jim Smith.

McLean has been involved with Boy Scouts of America (BSA) since the third grade when he joined Cub Scouts along with his friends. His journey to Eagle has afforded him a variety of learning opportunities including park clean up, Leave No Trace while hiking, recycling during service events, Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, and supporting the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce's Chocolate Festival.

The Eagle rank is the highest achievement in Boy Scouts and is the culmination of the efforts of McLean and his leaders. He needed to earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, in various crafts and skills. Twelve of these badges are required by the Boy Scouts of America.

Each Eagle Candidate must plan and supervise an Eagle Service Project. This Service Project demonstrates a Scouts capacity and willingness to exert his leadership ability in activities that are constructive and worthwhile in his community. McLean engineered a plan to sell, assemble, and install over 50 reflective address signs in three Oakhurst neighborhoods to better assist Cal Fire Station 12 and other emergency service vehicles locate rural homes. He enlisted the efforts of his fellow scouts and led them in the project.

After a Scout has completed the requirements for the rank of Eagle, he must be reviewed by an Eagle Board of Review, made up of a member of the Troop Committee and representatives of the Council from the Thunderbird District. This Board of Review meets to assure that the ideals of Scouting and the esteem of the Eagle Rank are upheld. McLean completed his Eagle Board of Review in November and achieved the Eagle Rank.

Pastor Paul DePledge, of Sierra Vista Presbyterian, gave the invocation at the Eagle Scout ceremony. Jeff Foster, friend and fellow Eagle Scout of Troop 341, served as the Master of Ceremony. Cole Melanson, Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 341, opened the ceremony with Troop 341 presenting the American Flag and Troop 341 Flag. He then led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. All Eagle Scouts present in the audience were invited to stand on stage to participate in the Eagle Pledge. Scoutmaster John Dufresne and Assistant Scoutmaster Eric Peterson along with Troop 341 defined the Scout Law and the Scout Oath for the audience.

McLean thanked the adults and fellow scouts of Troop 341 for their guidance and time spent not only with him but for the Boy Scouting program. He gave special recognition in the form of Mentor Pins to Dwan Foster, his Den 1 leader in Cub Scouts; former Scoutmaster Dale Hartesveldt for passing on knowledge of wilderness camping and back packing; and then to former Scoutmaster and father, Tony McLean for teaching McLean about patience.

The ceremony concluded with Kevin Meeker charging McLean with his Eagle Pin and Jeff Foster donning McLean's Eagle neckerchief.

Several dignitaries joined the crowd of nearly 100 people and presented proclamations to McLean acknowledging his Eagle Rank: Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, Madera County Supervisor Tom Wheeler, Madera County Sheriff John Anderson, Commander of the Marine Corp League Richard LaMontagne, and Gary Murphy from Order of the Arrow.

The Kiwanis of Oakhurst are the charter organization for Troop 341 and they barbequed hamburgers for the event.

McLean is currently a junior at Yosemite High School playing saxophone in the band as well as participating on the water polo and swim team. He plans to pursue college studying in the field of computer technology. His younger brother, Peter McLean, is also a Boy Scout. His parents are Tony and Lori McLean, owners of Oakhurst Physical Therapy.

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