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Ten young men join ranks of Eagle Scouts
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A proud mom – Karin Gay – adjusts her son Matthew’s new Eagle neckerchief in court of honor ceremonies. - photo by GLENN KAHL
Retired San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young sent a personal congratulatory video to Saturday night’s Court of Honor that inducted 10 new Eagle Scouts.

It was a surprise for the scouts as well as for the some 200 guests who filled the auditorium of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Manteca stake center on Northland Road.

Young told them how proud he was for their accomplishments and how important the team effort is in their lives – as important  on the playing field as it is in scouting and ultimately in life.  He added that he wished he could have been there to shake the hand of each and every one of them.

Then the audience sat somewhat spell bound as they watched a video of each scout telling of their experiences and how they accomplished their Eagle projects.

More than one of the boys singled out Ripon Public Works Director Ted Johnston – who sat quietly in the back of the room – for his efforts in helping them decide on a project and accomplish it.

The Court of Honor included the scouts’ parents at the highlight of the program. Dads were asked to join their sons on stage and pin them with their new Eagle pin.

Moms were there too – their sons pinning them with a special pin for their support from the time most of them entered scouting – at eight years old.  Mothers in turn removed their sons’ neckerchiefs from around their necks and tied on the new Eagle scarves.

Steve Hammarstrom acted as master of ceremonies for the event – briefly overcome by emotion at one point over the accomplishments of his scouts.

Jim Barberi probably said it best through his narration at the beginning of the court of honor.

“The presentation of the Eagle Scout Award is an important and serious matter.  For the Eagle candidate, this is a point in his scouting career that he transitions from a scout to a leader.

“The attainment of this award is possible through the assistance of those with the candidates tonight.  They are parents, scouting leaders, extended family, friends, fellow scouts and members of the community.  This is an occasion of joy, as well as a time for serious reflection.”
The newly badged Eagle Scouts include Mark Bigelow, Matthew Gay, Jordan Williamson, Lucas Brown, Derrick Lake, Quinn McMurtrey, Kevin Thompson, Jason Wialliamson, Cole Herrin and Ben Toleman.

The Ripon Police Department Honor Guard was there to post the colors.