ANAHEIM — Boy Scout Troop 578, sponsored by Orange County Buddhist Church (OCBC) in Anaheim, has recognized five scouts who recently attained the rank of Eagle Scout at an Eagle Court of Honor on May 23.
Special guests in attendance were Rev. Marvin Harada, Rev. Jon Turner, OCBC President Aaron Nagayama, and Amy Iwamasa and Judy Hisamoto, representing OCBC Buddhist Women’s Association. The ceremony included an inspirational speech by Kevin Takemura, an Eagle Scout from Troop 578 and head frosh/soph wrestling coach at University High School in Irvine.
To be considered for the Eagle Scout rank, the highest award a Boy Scout may earn, a candidate must be active in his troop, hold a leadership position, earn at least 21 merit badges (including 12 Eagle required badges), complete a leadership service project benefiting his local community, and receive letters of recommendation.
For the boys, the leadership skills, organizational skills, sense of community and commitment are a foundation for a lifetime of active citizenship. The Eagle Award project, the culmination of all the work the boys put forth to advance through the ranks, is something that fulfills a need within the community and leads to positive change.
• Nicholas Akira Oune, son of Chris and Kimiko Oune, is currently a junior at Arnold O. Beckman High School. An honors student, Nicholas has joined InvenTeam Club, CSF (California Scholarship Federation), and the Behavioral Exploration Club. He attended Johns Hopkins University’s program Engineering Innovation and is also a part of the Art Science program where teams are created to invent an energy-efficient project. This scout plans to major in mechanical engineering and attend UC San Diego.
Nicholas has always been an active member in the scouting program since the first grade. Throughout his years of scouting, he has held myriad leadership positions, including: patrol quartermaster, patrol scribe, patrol leader, troop guide (twice), patrol instructor, troop instructor, and senior patrol leader. From these positions, Nicholas has learned many essential skills of leadership. In scouting, he attended Philmont in 2012 and the 2010 Nippon Jamboree – both of which are his most memorable events in his scouting career. Furthermore, he received the Leduc Backpacking Award, the Hanano Award, and the Sangha Award.
At OCBC, Nicholas is a member of Daion Taiko (for seven years), Jr. YBA, and SEYO Basketball. He also coaches Chibiko Basketball and score-keeps for the SEYO basketball games.
With the help of 50 scouts, Nicholas was able to successfully finish his Eagle Scout project at George Key Ranch Historical Park in Placentia. Hours on the computer, help from his Eagle advisor Joel Marutani, and occasional meetings with Bradley Flynt allowed the planning phase to be finished. However, due to root mold, Nicholas had to make quick changes to his original project. In the end, young, navel orange trees were planted in place of dying or old orange trees, a drip irrigation system was installed, and the majority of the weeds were removed from the historical park.
• Connor Andrew Tadanobu Kubo, son of Greg and Alyson Kubo, graduated from the IB/Technology Magnet program at Troy High School. Connor has been a scholar athlete on the Troy High basketball team for four years and has played basketball with OCO since he was five. In 2010, he was selected to be on the Yonsei-17 basketball team and traveled to Sakata, Japan to represent the United States. He also is a member of CSF, Principal’s Honor Roll, and National Honor Society and is an AP Scholar with Distinction. In addition to his academic and sports activities, Connor was co-president of the Troy High UNICEF Club and sergeant at arms for the 12th grade OCO Octagon Club.
Connor’s Eagle project under advisor John Nakamoto consisted of designing and constructing nine round science tables for the Carr Elementary School Science Lab in Torrance. Connor began his scouting career as a Tiger Cub with Pack 862 out of Faith United Methodist Church in Torrance. He received his Arrow of Light and has been active with OCBCs Troop 578 for seven years serving in a variety of leadership roles, most recently as senior patrol leader in 2013. Connor considers the highlight of his scouting career to be when he was the crew leader for his 2012 Philmont expedition. Connor is thankful for all of the scouting dads and moms who have helped him along his scouting career.
Connor’s future plans are to attend a four-year university in order to obtain his bachelor of science degree in biological sciences. At present, he hopes to someday pursue a career in medical research.
• Cy Shigeru Miyake, son of Henry and Lin Miyake, is a junior at Diamond Bar High School. He has been on the wrestling team for three years and will continue into his senior year. He has participated in the Japanese Club and Leos Club, and is a proud member of the Pathways Communications Academy at his school.
He has been a part of OCBC since he was four years old. He has attended Dharma school, participated in SEYO baseball, and is currently a member of the Jr. YBA.
Cy has been in scouting since the third grade as a Bear Scout in OCBC Cub Scout Pack 578. Even though he joined late, he fell in love with scouting and crossed over into Troop 578. He has held many leadership positions in the troop, including quartermaster, troop guide, assistant patrol leader, patrol leader, and instructor. He has received the Sangha, World Conservation and Messenger of Peace awards. The latter award was given to him for helping host a scout contingent from Kashiwa, Japan. Cy went on many outings such as shotgun shooting, backpacking, and rock climbing. His trips to the 2010 and 2013 Nippon Jamborees, as well as Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, are his greatest memories in scouting.
His Eagle project consisted of building two eight-foot-long wooden benches for Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles. He picked this project in appreciation for his grandparents, Shigeru and Miyoko Nakagawa, who were long-time members. The benches are located in front of the entrance to the temple.
Cy would like to attend a university and will aspire to earn a degree in business administration and then a master’s degree in sports management. He would like to work for the front office of a professional sports team. His ultimate goal would be to become a general manager like his idol Theo Epstein, general manager of the Chicago Cubs and former general manager of the Boston Red Sox.
• Matthew “Matty” Nakahiro, son of Randy and Susan Nakahiro, graduated from the IB Program at Fullerton Union High School. He was the audio/video technician for his school’s Associated Student Body (ASB). He also was captain of the varsity golf team.
Matthew’s Eagle project was constructing shelves for his high school’s library. The purpose of this project was to help organize the textbooks and make it easier for the faculty and students to find them.
Matthew began his scouting career at the age of 12. Since then, he has served in numerous leadership positions within the troop such as quartermaster, patrol leader, troop historian, and instructor. Matthew believes that scouting and the people involved in it have helped him tremendously in becoming a better leader, follower, and person. He would like to thank Troop 578, his friends, and his family for all their support throughout the years and all the pain and suffering he has brought to their lives.
• Christopher Tuong-Vinh Duc Nguyen, son of Nhan and Linhcat Nguyen, graduated with honors from Troy High School and the Troy Tech program. During his years in high school, he was active in Frisbee and martial arts. He was also an active member of the Key Club and Doctors Without Borders Club, along with volunteering his time helping the Orange County Food Bank and feeding the homeless during the holiday seasons.
Christopher has been in scouting for seven years, holding various leadership positions from patrol historian, patrol instructor, and patrol leader to troop instructor within Troop 578. He has enjoyed fishing, scouting competitions, snowboarding, and hanging out with his scout friends. During this time in scouting, he has also earned the Sangha Award and World Conservation Award. He attained Eagle in March 2014.
Christopher’s Eagle project consisted of building two wooden gates and planting drought-resistant plants at the Muckenthaler Center in Fullerton. The gates were put in for the center’s pottery kiln and art building. The plants were planted for the walkway going up to the main building of the center. An irrigation system to sustain these plants was also put in.
This project required much cooperation between Christopher and his project advisor, Randy Nakahiro, who helped tremendouslywith his knowledge and experience on past Eagle projects. The Muckenthaler Center now has two sturdy gates that will last a long time and will help keep out any unauthorized people from entering the kiln area, as well as a beautifully flourishing walkway. He is very pleased at the work he has done to help the center and the community.