Editor:

I am currently working towards finishing my eagle scout rank and should be completed within the next few weeks.

Through my time in scouts I have been provided with life long skills that will continue to help and guide me through my future. Many scout troops in the area have been losing members at a fast rate. Mostly due to Covid, the scout troops in the area are struggling and with some having to dissolve.

I’ve lived in Santa Monica since I was born and in a scout troop since cub scouts. Scouting may be losing its popularity but I would hate to see it go. I have had opportunities that I would not have had otherwise and met friends I would not have met. I think it would be amazing to see more people join scouting and continue learning and building lifelong habits.

Some of the best memories I have are with scouts with my troop launching model rockets at rocstock on the Lucerne dry lake bed being one of my favorites. I would also not have learned how to scuba dive or play Magic.

Much of my life has been influenced by scouts whether I realize it or not. One of the requirements to the eagle scout rank is to lead a service project that benefits the community. I repainted the row markings at the Los Angeles National Cemetery. Before they were repainted the markings were illegible and made graves harder to find. Once repainted the markings were bright and crisp making the graves able to be found by family and other visitors. Over 90 markings were repainted and lettered. Reaching eagle is the culminating achievement that I’ve been working towards for nine years.

I am grateful for the people that have supported me and for those that have guided me along the way. In all, I would not be where I am today without scouting. I have been taught how to be my best self, how to lead others and been provided the skills necessary to create a successful future.

Yours In Scouting, Aaron Gondo