News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

El Monte Troop 551

By: Mark D. Peters

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EL MONTE – El Monte Boy Scout Unit 551 recognizes William Milkoff  for having achieved the Boy Scouts highest rank of Eagle Scout on July 18, 2013 and his Court of Honor dinner was held at Troop 551’s Chartered organization The American Legion Post 261 in El Monte; Sunday, February 16, 2014.

William has set himself up for a bright future at an early age.  William started his journey as a Tiger Cub and went on to earn the Cub Scouts highest achievement with the Arrow of Light. William has been trained as Den Chief at National Youth Leadership Training in Oak Badge, and is also a member of the Order of the Arrow, Brotherhood.  Several of the positions that William has held in Troop 551 are: Troop Historian, Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, Troop Guide and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster. He graduated from South El Monte High School in 2013.

To become an Eagle Scout, William had to earn a minimum of 21 Merit Badges (12 of which are specifically required to achieve the award), plan an Eagle Project, write a descriptive essay about the work necessary to complete the project and then pass the Eagle Board.

One year of planning and implementation culminated on Feb. 16 as William Milkoff  was ceremoniously presented his Eagle Scout Award, the highest honor that the Boy Scouts of America can bestow upon a Scout.

William earned his Eagle Scout award by working At the Whittier Narrows Nature Center in Whittier, California, providing much needed repairs and refurbishment to the centers outdoor restrooms.  His fellow Scouts and leaders of Troop 551 were there to lend a hand under William’s leadership.

Not only has the Whittier Narrows Nature Center benefited from the new Eagle Scout’s labors, but William’s parents can see how becoming an Eagle Scout has benefited their son.

William’s becoming an Eagle Scout tells us that he has become a responsible citizen. He has great loyalty for his community, friends and family. It also says that William has the determination to reach his goals. Almost all the boys say that they want to make it to Eagle, but William said it and accomplished it. Williams mother and Troop 551’s Cubmaster Terry Lopez was on stage along with his father Terry Milkoff, Scoutmasters Bill Durini and Richard Siddall who served as Williams guide to attain Eagle.

The level of perseverance and dedication required to attain the Eagle Scout Award are reflected in the fact that less than 3 percent of Scouts nationwide become Eagle Scouts.

But being an Eagle Scout is more than just getting to wear the coveted Eagle Pin, Eagle Neckerchief, Eagle Bolo and Eagle Badge, the award follows the recipient through life, both in academia and employment.  During William’s court of honor, Ms. Denyse Laugeson, Troop 551 Venture Crew Leader read off the congratulatory letters William received from The President of the United States, Barrack Obama, Vice President of the United States Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Former President of the United States George W. Bush, His Holiness Pope Francis via Msgr. Fermín Emilio Sosa Rodríguez, second counselor at the apostolic nuncio in Washington, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation James B. Comey, and U.S. National Aeronautical and Space administration (NASA) Chief and Astronaut Charles F. Bolden, Jr., American Legion Post 261 certificate of recognition and the American Legion Post 261 Ladies Auxiliary awarded William with an stuffed Eagle so he would not forget what he is.

Eagle Scouts are seen as honest and trustworthy individuals who follow the oath of Scouting and in doing so William will show other young Tiger Cubs the path from Cubs to Eagle and beyond.

The new Eagle Scout has been with the Boy Scout program since he was a Tiger Cub in September 2001 and this is where he first realized he wanted to become an Eagle Scout.

William may have achieved Scouting’s highest honor, but he still has a lot to offer the organization and is excited to keep going forward with his new accessories and responsibilities.  It’s a big accomplishment and because so much effort needs to go into achieving that big accomplishment, few scouts actually do it, but William put forth that effort

William sets a good example for the younger scouts and as Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 551; he will help them advance in rank.  People will always look up to you as you are and always will be a leader.  Make sure that you continue to live by the Scout laws each day. Continue to make a difference in people’s lives, be dedicated in all you do. Never settle for the bare minimum, but strive for something greater. Remember that you can never fail at anything if you never give up, and always be prepared.  Becoming an Eagle Scout is a great honor & responsibility. Remember the trail does not end and there is no such thing as a former Eagle Scout.  God speed on your journey William.


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News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.
El Monte Troop 551