By reporter Steven Smalley
It’s been called the PhD of youth. The highest achievement in Boy Scouts is the rank of Eagle, an honor attained by only 4% of scouts nation-wide. The latest Eagle recipient in Magnolia, Ballard High School junior Jackson Smalley, has a familial connection to this reporter. The oldest child of yours truly was awarded the rank of Eagle at a Court of Honor ceremony April 28 with family, friends, scouts, and leaders of Troop 80 all gathered to celebrate. The formal occasion, at the United Church of Christ, a long-time sponsor of Scouting, included traditional formalities, speeches, songs, and a handsome banquet.
The 124th Eagle from Troop 80 since the first one was awarded in 1932, Jack was accompanied by his proud parents including his mother, Michiko Smalley, and Scoutmaster Brian Keaton. Also in attendance was special speaker and family friend, The Honorable Mark Chow, King County District Court judge, Magnolia resident, and youngest son of the late Ruby Chow, a Seattle political icon.
As required of all Eagle candidates, a community project was organized and completed. Smalley’s initiative helped restore the Wolf Tree Nature Trail in Discovery Park while simultaneously installing 15 wooden signposts to indicate points of interest along the way – all of which were produced at Ballard High School with permission of faculty. More than 20 scouts and adults helped with the undertaking in Seattle’s largest park last January.
Additionally, a video presentation of the project was shown at the Court of Honor which recently won the first-ever Golden Eagle Award for Best Eagle Project video by Scouting magazine, a national publication. Click here to watch the 3-minute story.
The parents of Jackson Smalley extend their deepest appreciation to the many wonderful people who helped him achieve the rank of Eagle.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We had to twist Reporter Smalley’s arm to get him to do this story, and are very proud of the newest Eagle Scout in Magnolia. Congrats, Jackson!