Latter-day Saint Eagle Tribute Issue, 2021
"Scouting is a game with a purpose."
William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt

The Continued Legacy of Church Members in Scouting

On May 8, 2018, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the first and largest charter partner of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), announced they would be ending their charter relationship at the end of 2019, in order to focus their energy on a worldwide youth program for members of the Church.  The timing of this announcement allowed nearly 20 months for youth in Church sponsored troops to achieve Eagle rank.  For some, this amount of time was insufficient to complete all that they needed to do on the Trail to Eagle, and for others who started their Boy Scouting adventure with a Church troop after the announcement, there was insufficient time to achieve the rank of Eagle. 

Many of these boys joined troops that were created in early 2020 by leaders they knew well in the wards and stakes in which they served.  Others joined already established troops across San Diego County.  Things looked great for may of these youth to achieve the rank of Eagle...then the COVID-19 pandemic struck!  Troop and patrol meetings were held via Zoom, campouts and summer camp were canceled, and the logistical hurdles to planning, organizing and conducting a traditional Eagle project seemed insurmountable.  But kids, parents and leaders were resourceful, and over 30 Latter-day Saint (LDS) youth in San Diego - Imperial Council completed the rank of Eagle Scout since the Church departure at the end of 2019. 

This special issue of Saints & Scouts celebrates them and their accomplishments, and the leaders and parents who supported them.  During late 2019, all of 2020 and the first half of 2021, there were four new troops that focused on providing an opportunity for Latter-day Saints to continue in Scouting.  The new cohort of Eagles is presented below in troop number order, along with photos of their projects, Boards of Review, and Courts of Honor.  Please enjoy this special Eagle Tribute issue of Saints & Scouts, and thanks to all of the leaders who have continued on in Scouting to make this goal a possibility for these boys!

Troop 701, Oceanside, CA
Scoutmaster Mat Kuhn:

Noah Kuhn - 11/14/2019
Lucas Ek - 3/26/2020
Drew Peterson - 8/27/2020
Jay Connolly - 9/12/2020
Brody Kuhn - 9/24/2020
John (Jack) Ek - 2/25/2021
Kellen Marcuccio - 3/25/2021
Grant Marcuccio - 3/25/2021
Jay Connolly's grave recording team at work.
Grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters all squeeze into the frame to celebrate Grant Marcucci at the moment it is announced that he has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in Troop 701 in Oceanside, CA!  In the background is his twin brother Kellen Marcucci, who had just been awarded his Eagle the hour before.  The twins completed side-by-side restoration and conservation Eagle projects on the north side of the Batiquitos Lagoon near I-5.

Troop 702, Oceanside, CA
Scoutmaster Eric Gemmell:

Augustin Navarrete - 3/19/2020
Jesse Stratford - 5/21/2020 
Bronson Arnold - 7/23/2020
Michael Zinniger - 10/17/2020
Samuel Rosales 10/17/2020
Landon Elton 12/17/2020
Wade Takagi - 12/17/2020
Carson Burningham - 2/25/2021
Liam Conforto-McRoberts - 2/25/2021
Collin Rivard - 3/25/2021
Kai Uda - 4/28/2021
Michael Zinniger has his Eagle rank pinned on by his Mom while Dad looks on and Scoutmaster Eric Gemmell speaks about the significance of the Eagle Award.
Collin Rivard passed his virtual Eagle Board of Review with flying colors!  For his Eagle project, Collin built a mobile lost and found structure for his Coastal Academy.
Kai Uda built beautiful picnic table and benches for Riding Emphasizing Individual Needs and Strengths (REINS) in Fallbrook.

Troop 1820, Rancho Bernardo, CA
Scoutmaster Derek Hunsaker:

Bryce Barrus
Seth Bearnes
Zachary Blankenbiller
Kyle Christensen
Andrew Eppich
James Hilton
James Hunsaker
John Linnell
Danny Sawyer
Van Sharp
Van Sharp - laid new bricks for a school patio.

Troop 1886, Chula Vista, CA
Scoutmaster Khanh Edwards:

Jake Shorey
Austin Bateman - 5/27/2020
Jake Shorey - built a pig house for a rescue center in Ramona, CA.
Austin Bateman - restored a community trail in Imperial Beach, CA.

Community Units

Jonathan Tadlock - 7/20/2020 - Troop 871 transitioned to Crew 5
Austin Wood - 5/3/2021 - Troop 777 transitioned to Troop 722

Jonathan Tadlock - organized the sewing of over 100 masks and several bags of donated clothes, shoes and backpacks for StandUp for Kids San Diego.
Austin Wood - built a kiosk and map with a solar powered lamp and collection box to allow campers to check-in late at Guajome Park Campground and find their designated camping spot.

If you are aware of any Latter-day Saint youth who have achieved the Eagle rank since January 1, 2020, that are not included here, please let us know and we will update this list and publish a special issue for them!
2021 Virtual Little Philmont
Virtual Little Philmont 2021 provides a unique opportunity to hear from leading Scouters who continue to deliver high-quality programs for our youth. This exciting event can be a catalyst for increased knowledge and energy within the Latter-day Saint Scouting community.

We’ll open the event on Friday evening (May 21st) with Rex Tillerson as our special fireside guest. As the former BSA President and former U.S. Secretary of State, Rex will have an inspiring message for all the significance of religion in Scouting.

We’ll continue the event on Saturday morning (May 22nd), with various presentations to continue Scouting with energy, increased knowledge, and enthusiasm:

Scouting Growth Mindset

– Recruiting Scouting Leaders, Youth, and Families in a Post-Pandemic World

– Life After Eagle, encouraging Scouts to contribute after earning Eagle

Scouting Paradigm Shift

– Moving away from traditionally small Latter-day Saint Scouting Units to larger units by embracing the blessings and benefits of the Patrol Method

– Utilizing the Aims and Methods of Scouting and the whole Scouting program to strengthen youth and accomplish the mission of Scouting

Scouting Digitized

– Using digital tools and social media to communicate and enhance your Scouting program


New Units Near You!

Please reach out to any of the contacts below or to the LDS S&T Team Leadership for information on how to join like-minded Scouts and Families and continue your Scouting Adventure!
Clairemont Mesa - Pack 277 - Claire Smith
Chula Vista - Pack 886 - Sharon Shorey
Poway - Pack 1820 - David Odenwalder
Vista - Pack 702 - Rob Gleason
Oceanside - Troop 701 - Richard Eason
Chula Vista - Troop 886 - Sharon Shorey
Penasquitos - Troop 1820 - Derek & Jennifer Hunsaker
Vista - Troop 702 - Eric Gemmell
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Service & Transition Team or the San Diego-Imperial Council Representative. 
Trevor Bender

Serving the North Stakes:
Del Mar
Amy Tadlock

Serving the South Stakes:
Chula Vista
El Cajon
San Diego
San Diego East
San Diego North
Need more information?

Please contact
San Diego - Imperial Council
619-298-6121 ext. 253


Visit us online!

The Latter-day Saint Scouting Service and Transition Team has a website, Facebook, and Instagram.  Follow us for the latest updates. 

We are here to serve you.


For those who want to make 2019 the best year yet and continue the adventure in 2020, we want to help you find the right program to meet the needs of your family.

Visit the Website


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