On Jan. 29 five Santa Monica teenagers will be awarded the highest rank one can earn in the Boy Scouts of America. Dante Gaudet, Gavin Lai, Rami Mamita, John Francis “Jake” Pavlica, and Kyle Zolkin will be honored with the rank of Eagle Scout at the Troop 2 Eagle Court of Honor to be held at the LDS Stake Center in Los Angeles. Gaudet, Lai, Mamita and Zolkin are Seniors at Santa Monica High School, while Pavlica is a Senior at New West Charter High School.
The Eagle rank honors exemplary effort, leadership, and service. Only six percent of Boy Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle. In addition to demonstrating proficiency in first aid, citizenship, camping, swimming, emergency preparedness, and many other skills, Eagle candidates must coordinate and complete a community service project that demonstrates significant leadership abilities. Each of the Scouts being honored led a major project to improve quality of life in the Santa Monica community.
Gaudet revitalized an outdoor area of the Museum of Flying, near the back entrance. His project was completed one week before the Santa Monica tourism summit at which the newly landscaped entrance was featured. Lai, and 70 Scouts, planted 500 sq. ft. of ground with drought-tolerant plants and resurfaced 900 sq. ft. of grass with mulch at Mount Olive Lutheran Church allowing the church to conserve water and set up displays. Mamita renovated and updated the emergency sheds at Santa Monica High School, a project long overdue which greatly improves emergency preparedness for over 3000 Santa Monica students. Pavlica designed and constructed movable “living walls” and tiered benches for New West Charter School, adding life and greenery as well as much needed seating for assemblies. Zolkin replaced 200 sq. ft. of hard grass terrain with decomposed granite and created 3 paths at Roosevelt Elementary, making the garden a safer and more aesthetically pleasing learning environment for students and faculty.
Troop 2 is one of the oldest and largest Boy Scout troops in the Western United States. In its 69-year history, Troop 2 has graduated 346 Eagle Scouts and traveled to Scout Camps and high adventure destinations throughout the United States. Troop 2 Scouts are known to have saved at least 63 lives.