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Seven Blaine Eagle Scouts are Honored
  Wednesday, 6/3/2009
  by Sue Austreng ABC newspapers​

Bestowed the prestigious and hard-fought Eagle Scout award during a May 31 court of honor were Troop 524’s Kyle Brandes, Aaron DeRusha, Jonathan Klemm, Patrick McDonald, Ryan McDonald, Bruce Thibodeau and Jeremy Wolf.

“These boys have been Scouting together since they were Cubs in first- or second-grade at Johnsville Elementary School,” said  Tim DeRusha.

Along the way, two of the Cubs lost their dads. Bruce Thibodeau Sr. and Kevin McDonald died when their boys – Bruce Thibodeau and Ryan and Patrick McDonald – were just getting their Scouting feet wet.

Pressing on, honoring their fathers and keeping them alive in their tender Scouting hearts, Bruce, Ryan and Patrick continued earning merit badges and climbing the ladder toward Eagle status.

Through the years, as the seven young Johnsville Cubs climbed the scouting ranks to Boy Scout status, they formed a patrol with Troop 524 and began meeting at Epiphany Catholic Church, Coon Rapids.

Only 2 percent of the young men who join the Boy Scouts of America achieve Scouting’s highest award, that of Eagle Scout.

May 31, Brandes, DeRusha, Klemm, the McDonalds, Thibodeau  and Wolf extended Troop 524’s historic Eagle Scout count to 81, following in the footsteps of the troop’s first Eagle Scout, Jeffrey Iverson, who was awarded the honor back in 1965.

Before pledging the Eagle Charge and receiving their Eagle awards, the candidates endured comical Scouting memories resurrected by Scoutmasters, den mothers and fellow Boy Scouts.

Tales were told of the boys’ legacies of long-windedness, of forgetfulness, of inventiveness, of sharp shooting, of joking, of singing, of golfing, of misplacing camping equipment, of surviving and protecting, of hiking and fishing and more.

““"Eagle Scout is who you are. It’s not just an award. It’s who you are. After this day, it’s not something you say, ‘I was an Eagle Scout.’ From this day forward, you are an Eagle Scout. It’s something that can never be taken away,"” said former Troop 524 Scoutmaster Karen Theisen after the Scouts pledged their lives and vowed their allegiance to the Eagle Charge.

"“Looking at these boys on this stage... they represent our future, and I’'d say the future looks bright,"” said John Conelly, the uniformed court of honor emcee.

And the assembled crowd responded with a standing ovation.

*Article was partially edited due to long length*

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