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Eagle Scouts leave their mark on Bear River

Stephen Taylor, a junior, built a shed for the Bear River Football program. Photo by Jared Pittsley

Bruins soar to new heights through Eagle Scout achievements.

Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable within Boy Scouts of America. Only 4% of boys in the Scout program go on to achieve this ranking, and Bear River is home to many young men who have received, or are working to receive, this honor.

Mason Riffey, a senior, is a Bruin who has successfully completed his project and earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

“Basically, you have to get your project approved, fundraise all the money, actually do the project, then you have to make a binder that summarizes the whole project,” Riffey said. “That also has to be approved, and then you finally have a board of review that is with three old guys that hold the final say on whether or not you actually receive the award.”

Scouts talked about their Eagle projects.

“I held a work day for refurbishing the Bear River Little League field,” said senior Trace Anderson. “I chose to do this because I spent a lot of time there when I was younger, playing baseball and had a lot of good memories there and I felt like I should give back to a place that lots of people enjoy.”

Riffey’s project also had roots in the Baseball program.

“I built a batting cage for the Varsity Baseball team,” he said. “I chose it because it impacted my community in a positive way and a way that I could see and watch affect people.”

Baseball Coach Eric Van Patten discussed how Riffey’s project benefited the program.

“It gave us another facility so that we could try to get better at the game of hitting, and it was much needed because the one cage that we have is having to facilitate two squads, Junior Varsity and Varsity, so just having a second one gives us a greater capacity to do a good job,” he said.

Junior Stephen Taylor chose to assist the Football program here at Bear River.

“My project was fundraising, purchasing, and installing a Tuff Shed,” he explained. “I got the idea from Coach [Scott] Savoie; I asked him if he had any ideas for a project and he said he needed a shed for extra space for the football teams.”

“Getting your Eagle Scout is just another way to separate yourself from others,” discussed Riffey. “Only 4% achieve the rank of Eagle that actually start Scouts. It’s valued in the workplace and valuable to colleges.”

The boys talked about their reasons for obtaining their Eagle.

“I wanted to get my Eagle because I felt like it would be nice to accomplish something in my life,” said Anderson. “The experience has shown me that good things can happen when people come together.”

“I wanted to earn my Eagle because it will give me so many opportunities,” Taylor said. “I could never replace the memories that I have made.”

Coach Van Patten provided his thoughts on the Eagle Scout program, and the good it provides for individuals and communities.

“I’ve been a part of five Eagle Scout projects, you know, just signing kids off on that, and all but one have come out of Bear River High School,” he said. “I’ve seen nothing but good stuff because it’s a community-based, community-driven idea that is really for the person, like Mason, to do what Eagle Scouts are supposed to do, which is give back to community because they’re supposed to be leaders, and he lead a good project. We get projects like that done, I mean, you can count up probably several projects around Bear River High School actually getting done by Eagle Scouts, and they wouldn’t have gotten done without them.”

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Eagle Scouts leave their mark on Bear River