First published in the May 21 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
Four Scouts of Troop 209 recently earned their rank of Eagle and were celebrated at a Court of Honor at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, the troop’s new home.
Guests included state Sen. Anthony Portantino and Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes. Talamantes helped start Troop 209 in the 1990s and his two sons also earned the rank of Eagle.
This group of scouts started together as members of the Dragon Patrol in 2015. All four scouts completed the National Youth Leadership program.
Jason Cook is a senior at Burbank High School where he is active in the Instrumental Music Program. During his time in Troop 209 he has held positions as Troop Guide and Patrol Leader. He attended many camping trips and attended summer camp at Camp Pico Blanco, Camp Fiesta Island and Camp Wente. Along the way he earned 23 merit badges (including Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Science and Movie Making), the Mile Swim and the National Outdoor Achievement Award for Camping.
For his Eagle project, Cook worked with the National Parks Service to restore and beautify the Santa Monica Mountains following a fire. Several hundred native plants were prepared and planted into the mountainside.
Jack Harris is a senior at John Burroughs High School. Harris has held leadership positions in the troop including Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and was elected as a Member of the Order of the Arrow. Over the course of his scouting career, he earned 41 merit badges (including Game Design, Climbing, and Animation) and the National Outdoor Achievement Award for Camping and Hiking.
In addition to the numerous camping (tallying 119 nights of camping) trips, he also attended National Jamboree and a high adventure backpacking trip at Denali National Park. For his Eagle project, Harris renovated the North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry which entailed removing paneling, painting rooms and installing a workbench and shelving.
Ryan Hirsch is a senior at John Burroughs High School where he is part of the Theatre Tech Crew. His scout leadership positions have included Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader and Instructor for Leave No Trace program. He accumulated more than 100 nights of camping (including nights spent in igloos he helped build) and hiked more than 275 miles while in the troop and was part of the Order Arrow. He earned the National Outdoor Achievement Award for Camping, Aquatics and Riding.
In 2019, Hirsch completed the 50-mile, multi-day Silver Moccasin Trail in the San Gabriel National Forest. He earned 23 merit badges including Backpacking, Cycling, Search and Rescue and Welding. For his Eagle project he redesigned and replaced trail marker signs in Burbank’s Stough Canyon and added an additional sign for bike safety.
Spencer Solberg is a senior at Burbank High School where he is part of the Theater Tech Crew. During his time in the troop he held leadership positions including Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader.
Solberg earned a total of 38 merit badges including Wilderness Survival, Personal Management, Canoeing and Communications, netting him Bronze, Gold and Silver Eagle Palms. He was also elected to membership in the Order of the Arrow and earned the National Outdoor Achievement for Camping.
For his Eagle project, Solberg designed and built six interactive child development boards for the parent education program at the Burbank Adult School. Outside of Scouting, Solberg earned the U.S. Congress’ Congressional Award Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals.