ANAHEIM — Orange County Buddhist Church Boy Scout Troop 578 held its Eagle Court of Honor on May 22.
Scouts, Orange Frontier District and church guests, family and friends attended this special event to honor Riley Matsuda, Nick Hisamoto, Scott Arima, Steven Chang and Corey Tekawa for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.
• Riley Kiyoshi Matsuda, son of Gary and Kris Matsuda, will be graduating from Cypress High School in June, where he was a two-year member of the volleyball team and one-year member of the basketball team.
His scouting career began in Cub Scouts, where he joined Pack 578 as a wolf. After nearly 11 years of active scouting, he aged out of Troop 578 in early January this year. Riley served in various positions throughout his years in the troop, including quartermaster, troop guide, patrol leader, troop instructor, troop historian, and assistant senior patrol leader. His best memories of scouting include attending the 2013 Japan Jamboree, going to numerous summer camps, and participating in the annual shotgun shooting event.
Riley’s Eagle project consisted of constructing and installing storage shelves for the Cypress Senior Citizens Center. His project advisor was Mike Oune, current Troop 578 scoutmaster.
In the fall, he will be attending UCLA, where he will work towards earning a degree in biomedical engineering and later plans to attend graduate school.
• Nick Hiroshi Hisamoto, son of Jon and Jodi Hisamoto, is a graduate of John F. Kennedy High School, where he was a member of the Choc and Friends Club. He was a four-year member of the Kennedy Shamrock Regiment marching band, playing the alto sax. During his high school year, he traveled with the band to perform in Dublin, Ireland’s St. Paddy’s Day parade and has performed in Honolulu.
At Orange Country Buddhist Church, he achieved 13 years of perfect attendance at the Dharma School Sunday Program. He is a member of the OCBC Jr. YBA (Young Buddhist Association), participated in OCBC Daion Taiko for the last seven years, and participates in many of the church’s annual functions.
At the Orange Coast Optimist club, he played SEYO (South East Youth Organization) basketball since second grade. He was an active member of the OCO Octagon, participating in various service activities like making Thanksgiving baskets for the needy and helping to gather gifts for the yearly visit to the Hyland Homes. He has also volunteered to be a camp counselor for OCO’s basketball camp.
Nick began scouting at the age of 6, as a Tiger Cub in OCBC’s Scout Pack 578, and eventually crossed over into Boy Scout Troop 578. He was an active member in the troop, serving as patrol leader, instructor, assistant senior patrol leader, chaplain’s aid, and many other leadership positions.
His favorite memory of scouting was taking multiple backpacking trips through the Sierra mountain range, hiking over 20 miles each trip and catching his first golden trout. He also enjoyed taking part in Troop 578’s annual shotgun shooting competition, where he placed first. Scouting has taught him many skills that he hopes he can put forth in the future.
Nick achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of 15 and has continued to be active with the troop. For his Eagle project, he built, designed, and installed six eight-foot shelves and installed two fluorescent light fixtures for the Girl Scouts of OCBC. Under the guidance of Dave Nakamura, he successfully completed the project. The shelves allowed the Girl Scouts to organize their craft and camping equipment for easy access.
In the fall, he will attend Orange Coast College and work toward transferring to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he hopes to get a degree in mechanical engineering.
• Scott Kazuo Arima, son of Dr. Mark and Mrs. Lana Arima, is a graduate of Cypress High School. He was a three-year player on the Cypress High School Centurion basketball team and received the Scholar Athlete Award all three years. He was a member of the National Honors Society and Key Club and also received academic honors from his school.
Scott has been attending Orange County Buddhist Church Dharma School since the first grade. He has been a member of OCBC Jr. YBA and served as vice president of finance in his senior year. He played SEYO OCBC baseball for six years, has been a volunteer coach for the OCBC Chibiko Youth Basketball program for four years, and was an assistant coach for the boys’ sixth-grade OCBC Warriors basketball team.
Scott was also part of the OCO organization and a member of the OCO Octagon service group. He has played SEYO basketball for OCO since the second grade. He was also a recipient of the OCO 2015 Scholarship award.
He started scouting as a Tiger Cub in OCBC’s Cub Scout Pack 578, then crossed over to Boy Scout Troop 578. He has served numerous leadership positions, such as scribe, quartermaster, troop guide, patrol leader, instructor, troop scribe and senior patrol leader.
In scouting, his fondest memories were traveling with the troop to Japan for the 15th and 16th Nippon Jamboree, hiking the back country of Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, and having the opportunity to serve as the senior patrol leader of the troop.
Scott has earned 38 merit badges, has completed the National Youth Leadership Training, received the Boy Scout Buddhist Sangha Award, and earned the troop’s Hanano Award and Leduc High Adventure Backpacker Award during his scouting career.
He received his Eagle Scout rank on Nov. 19, 2013 and has earned the three Eagle Scout Palm awards: Bronze, Gold, and Silver.
For his Eagle Scout project, Scott constructed masonry block benches for Steve Luther Elementary School in La Palma. His advisor was Sandra Ichiho and the project was very successful. The purpose was to beautify the school grounds, provide a place for outdoor learning for the students, and have a place for parents to sit to watch over their children.
Scouting has been one of the most influential and life-changing experiences for Scott. He would like to thank the leaders and scouts of OCBC Boy Scout Troop 578 for their guidance in his scouting career, and would also like to thank family and friends for their encouragement and support throughout the years.
Scott is planning on attending Cal State Long Beach, where he will be majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in business.
• Steven Alan Chang, son of Calvin and Lynn Chang, graduated from Cerritos High School and will be attending the University of Southern California this fall. He was an AP scholar, was president of Greenworks, an environmental awareness club, and president of the National Honor Society, a community service club. Additionally, he was a four-year member and undersecretary-general of the Model United Nations team, as well as the Associated Student Body commissioner of technology.
At Orange County Buddhist Church, Steven served as Jr. YBA co-president and played basketball on the OCBC Lightning boys basketball team. At Norwalk Youth Sports, Coaches Sam Chu and Roy Fujii gave him the opportunity to be the Blazers boys’ assistant basketball coach for four years. He also participated in the Kizuna Youth Community Action Network leadership program for three years.
Steven joined Cub Scouts when he was 7 years old, where he earned the Arrow of Light in Pack 529 before crossing over to Boy Scout Troop 578. He was an active member of the troop, serving as troop historian, troop guide, patrol leader, and assistant senior patrol leader, among other roles.
His favorite memory from Troop 578 was going on his first hike with Ryan Togashi and Ryan Kawahara, who taught him his first scout skills and acted as role models. Participating in two Japan Jamborees was among his most memorable experiences. He will never forget the lessons he was taught through scouting, such as helping out others and providing mentorship, and hopes to carry them with him throughout the rest of his life.
Steven’s Eagle project consisted of designing and building five picnic benches for the Buffum Total Learning Center in Long Beach. Aided by his project coach, Ron Kato, Life-to-Eagle Coordinator Ken Takemura, and David Condon, he successfully completed the project. The benches will benefit the special education pre-school for years to come and he appreciates the opportunity to contribute.
• Corey Adam Tekawa is the son of David and Esther Tekawa; grandson of Nick and Hiroko Nakano and Ray and Jean Miyeko Tekawa. He is an active four-year member of the Yorba Linda High School Mustang Marching Band and Wind Ensemble. He plays both the bass clarinet and clarinet. He was also part of the California Scholarship Federation for all four years and an AP scholar.
Corey also received the Most Improved Award in his freshman year playing on JV lacrosse. Outside of school, he has been a member of the OCO Crunch basketball team in SEYO League.
Corey began his scouting career with Pack 578 as a Webelo and attained his Arrow of Light as he crossed over into Boy Scout Troop 578. He has served as a patrol scribe, troop guide, patrol leader, troop scribe, and instructor. During his time in scouting, he has earned the Hanano Award, Leduc High Adventure Award, the World Conservation Award, and the Sangha Award.
His favorite scouting memories are his days hiking in Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, shotgun shooting, river rafting, and participating in the 2010 and 2013 Japan Jamborees. He has camped 141 nights and hiked 212 backpacking miles.
For his Eagle project, Corey designed and supervised the building of two rolling equipment carts for his high school band. The carts made the transportation of the keyboard and sound equipment more efficient and safe. Corey successfully raised enough money for the building materials with the help of family, friends, and scouting families. He worked under the guidance of his Eagle project advisor, Jim Kato.
He will be attending San Diego State University, majoring in biology.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank in scouting. To achieve that rank, the scout has to advance through six rank advancements, complete a minimum of 21 merit badges with 13 of those merit badges being required Eagle Merit Badges, show leadership, service and scout skills within the troop, and complete an Eagle Scout service project to benefit any religious institution, school or their community. The scout must plan, develop and provide leadership for this project.