“You will be recognized as a doer, as a leader among leaders. You will have more opportunity to be of service to your fellow men, your schools and your communities,” Steen Jensen said. Jensen presided over the March 18 Boy Scouts Court of Honor ceremony to induct two Quincy young men as Eagle Scouts, the top achievement in boy scouting and one of them his own son. Jensen earned his Eagle rank 37 years ago.
Boy Scouts Luke Zempel and Zach Jensen of Troop 151 were presented with Eagle Scout medals at the event, which was held at the Mineral Building on the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds in East Quincy.
Cub Scouts Kyle Rose and Gabriel Fletcher of Quincy Pack 151 were also honored at the ceremony for having earned their “Arrow of Light” awards, Cub Scouting’s highest honor.
“The secret to being a success is to fail,” Jensen told all of the young men. “Each time in your life, when you didn’t win, you learned from your mistakes and you improved. This puts you in very good company. Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan and others — they all failed and learned from it to become the great successes they were.”
The event was emceed by new Troop 151 Scoutmaster Rick Fletcher, who succeeds Jan Jensen, a community volunteer with extensive service to scouting, 4H and youth softball.
The event was attended by an extended group of friends, family and community representatives.
District 4 Supervisor Lori Simpson and District 5 Supervisor Jeff Engel offered their congratulations to the scouts.
“We’re really proud of you, of your leadership and commitment,” Simpson said. “This is an important achievement and represents a lot of hard work.”
Engel invited the scouts to attend an upcoming Plumas County Board of Supervisors meeting to be formally recognized and said, “We are very proud of you, this distinction you have earned. You are the stock we are looking for, what we need for the board of supervisors.”
As the audience chuckled and applauded, Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood took the podium.
“We are here tonight to recognize the time, dedication and hard work it takes to earn these honors,” Hagwood said. “Courage, bravery, reverence and trustworthiness — these are increasingly hard to find these days. Regardless of how hard it may be in life, stay true to those tenets and you will serve your community and country well. And, when you turn 18 or finish college, the Sheriff’s Department would be a good place to be. Then you can run for the board of supervisors!”
Laughter filled the room.
Each of the honored scouts has shown a tremendous commitment to completing the many tasks and projects required to earn their distinctions. Notably, the road to earning Eagle Scout accolades is long and tough.
Zach Jensen has grown from a shy young man with an auditory processing disorder into a confident, accomplished student who has persevered to develop numerous skills and earn many scouting badges.
With the inspiration of his father having earned the Eagle Scout honor, Jensen set himself the goal to achieve this top award, too. He stuck to his decision and worked through “the Eagle Trail” requirements while also playing football, wrestling and baseball, as well as earning straight As and taking AP classes.
“I want to thank my family for supporting me in this,” Jensen told the crowd. “Especially my mom for pushing me to achieve. It means a lot that you all came tonight. You’ve seen two scouts go from boys to men.”
Luke Zempel began scouting in sixth grade in Alameda and, after moving to Quincy, set his own goal to complete the rigorous Eagle Scout level. Zempel’s father is also an Eagle Scout and proudly supported his son on the journey.
Following many scouting projects, campout adventures and orienteering, Zempel used his skills to design an Eagle Scout project combining two of his favorite interests, music and construction. He built an outdoor music station for a local preschool.
Zempel is currently a cadet at the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo where he is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering.
“I want to thank my parents and family for helping me on this journey to becoming an Eagle Scout, and especially Rick Fletcher for taking over Troop 151 as Scoutmaster,” Zempel said.
“Hey, thanks for dragging all those Christmas trees down the mountain all that time,” one man said from the audience and everyone laughed and clapped.
For more information about local scouting activities and opportunities, contact Scoutmaster Richard Fletcher at 394-4720 or email him at [email protected].