Four Oakland Tech Boy Scouts Achieve Eagle Scout Rank

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Oakland Tech 2015 graduates Cheyenne Jacobsen, Kyle Merritt, John Oberholzer, and current Tech senior Connor Prime recently received their Eagle Scout Award, the highest honor in Boy Scouting. In addition, the family of Jack Lewis, the Rockridge teen killed when a tree limb broke near Children's Fairyland in December, received special honors. All five boys had been part of Cub Scout Pack 274, made up primarily of boys from Chabot and Peralta elementary schools prior to joining Boy Scout Troop 202. The awards were presented at a special ceremony in early January.

Nationally, only around 4 percent of all Boy Scouts have achieved the rank of Eagle since it was first awarded in 1912. To become an Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts must advance through seven required ranks, demonstrate their understanding of leadership, service, character, personal fitness and outdoor skills at multiple levels. Scouts must earn merit badges in 21 life skills and other areas of achievement such as physical fitness, first aid, personal management, and citizenship. In addition, each scout must complete an extensive self-directed service project including planning, organizing, leading and completing the project prior to his 18th birthday. On average, scouts spend around 130 hours on their project.

"It takes a great amount of service, discipline, perseverance, and commitment to become an Eagle Scout," says Troop 202 Scoutmaster Rick Prime. "These young men worked hard to achieve the honor."

Cheyenne Jacobson attended Chabot, Montera and Oakland Tech, and will be attending Merritt College this spring, pursuing studies relating to business and finance. His Eagle project at Redwood Regional Park involved planting native redwood trees, running drip irrigation to them, removing invasive species and building a fence to protect newly planted trees.

Kyle Merritt grew up in Rockridge. He was home-schooled prior to attending Oakland Tech, where he landscaped, built a path, and planted drought-resistant species in a heavily trafficked area of school for his Eagle project. Kyle is taking a gap year and serving as a volunteer reading partner at Sankofa Elementary as he prepares to start college next year.

John Oberholzer is a freshman at Stanford, where he is studying chemistry. An accomplished musician, he was home schooled and attended the Conservatory of Vocal and Instrumental Arts (COVA) for middle school prior to Oakland Tech. For his Eagle project, he rebuilt two exterior staircases and painted the interior of a shelter for women and children in North Oakland.

Connor Prime attended Chabot and Claremont and is currently a senior at Oakland Tech. He created paved patios, refurbished a bench, and landscaped an outdoor recreation area at a transitional housing complex for formerly homeless and abused women in Alameda for his Eagle project. He plans to study marketing and creative writing when he starts college in the fall.

Jack Lewis Honored
As part of the recognition ceremony, an honorary Spirit of the Eagle award was presented to the Lewis family. The special posthumous national award memorializes scouts for their contributions to scouting and to the troop. Jack Lewis was a member of Cub Scout Pack 274 while a student at Chabot, and joined Boy Scout Troop 202 while at Claremont Middle School.

"Troop 202 is a very active, close-knit and inclusive group. Jack was a member of our family, and his enthusiasm and sense of adventure were immeasurable. These young men had many adventures together, backpacking in the mountains of New Mexico and the Trinity Alps in Northern California, sailing in the Florida Keys and summiting Mount Shasta, among others," said Prime. "Jack was on the path to becoming an Eagle, and it was an honor to recognize him with our Eagle Scouts."

Troop 202 has been active since it was chartered in 1927 and is the second-oldest Boy Scout troop in Oakland. The troop draws scouts from the Rockridge and Montclair districts and all across Oakland.

Information about Troop 202 and its activities is available at the Troop website: www.troop-202.net

Written by Cindy Wilson