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Wed, Nov. 20

Two PV teens achieve rank of Eagle Scout

Only two in a hundred young men achieve the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. Troop #330 has those two this year.

The Scouts awarded Bradshaw Mountain High School seniors Mario Sweeney and Walter Staton the BSA's highest rank at a Court of Honor ceremony May 6.

To achieve Eagle Scout status, a candidate must work through five ranks, earn at least 21 merit badges, and plan, coordinate and carry out a significant leadership project.

Sweeney came to Troop 330 from Bamburg, Germany, where he was a scout in the Trans Atlantic Council, in 1994. Since then he has held nearly every leadership position available, including: Den Chief, Librarian, Assistant Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader. He currently serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster.

To call Sweeney an active member of Troop 330 is a definite understatement. He seldom missed a troop meeting, outing, service project or planning session in the past six years. He camped 71 days, hiked 195 miles, worked 74 service hours, earned 35 merit badges and qualified as a BSA lifeguard.

At BMHS, Sweeney was head sound technician for the media department, maintained a 4.0+ gradepoint average and was a member of the National Honor Society.

In addition to scouting and school, Sweeney keeps busy playing electric bass guitar for his band, and works 30 hours per week.

For his Eagle Scout project, Sweeney planned for the inventory, mapping and maintenance of the Urban Forest's 142 trees. The project, completed on National Trails Day last June, involved 30 community people, as well as the PV Parks department.

This fall, Sweeney plans to attend the University of Arizona on an academic scholarship and major in computer engineering and design.

"I am extremely proud of this young man, and cherish the opportunity I have had to watch him grow and mature as he prepares himself for the adult world," said Mark McIntyre, Sweeney's former Scoutmaster, at his Court of Honor.

Walter Staton is easily recognizable driving around PV in his blue '47 Plymouth with the pink flamingo wired to its grill. Another longtime scout, Staton chose to create a water conservation curriculum for HUSD fifth graders for his Eagle project. He has staffed numerous statewide scout leadership conferences and Junior Leadership workshops, and helped organize the district-wide Scout Camporee. He and his father, Walt, Sr., founded Explorer Post 1.

Like Sweeney, Staton maintained a straight A average at BMHS and was a member of the National Honor Society, while participating in a plethora of activities. He lettered in cross country and swimming, and was elected co-captain of BradshawÕs first swim team. His Forensics team, of which he was vice president, advanced to state finals in mock trial this year. His ÒCalculus PartyÓ team captured first place at Level Four - the highest level - of Embry Riddle Aeronautical UniversityÕs Math Challenge, and his ÒCollege BowlÓ team took second. He was also a member of the media staff that produced a daily news program at BMHS.

As host of prescottvalley.net, he has established himself as a businessman by creating websites for many local businesses. He received Arizona Software AssociationÕs honorable mention for Website of the Year Award for the page he created for the Prescott Valley Economic Development Foundation.

After attending RotaryÕs Youth Leadership training program, Staton joined the RYLA staff, serving as videographer for the latest youth camp.

As a student member of the PV Chamber of Commerce Youth and Education Committee, Staton helped coordinate the Student Career Expo this spring. Through Yavapai College, he regularly trains interested people in internet operating systems.

Staton will also attend the University of Arizona on academic scholarship, with plans to major in business and Japanese.

At the Court of Honor, Scoutmasters presented the new Eagles with American flags that had flown over the US capital. Congressman Bob StumpÕs office sent the flags and a congratulatory letter.

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