Bruno earns rank of Eagle Scout

Brendan K. Bruno, 17, of Auburn, Washington, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout on April 15 as conferred by the BSA National Office, Irving, Texas; BSA Chief Seattle Council, Seattle, Washington; and BSA Troop 474, Kent, Washington. The Eagle Scout rank is the highest advancement awarded by the Boy Scouts of America. Only about 4 percent of all scouts entering the BSA program achieve Eagle Scout.

An important part in earning the rank is planning and completing an Eagle Scout Leadership Community Service Project. Brendan’s project, completed in December 2009, involved removing the noxious plant English Ivy from a 5,000 square-foot area within the Dash Point State Park, Federal Way, Washington.

A Court of Honor celebrating Brendan’s achievement of Eagle Scout was held by his BSA Troop 474 on August 24 at the St. James Episcopal Church, Kent, Washington. At the ceremony, Scoutmaster Kent Brooten delivered the Eagle Charge, Oath, and awards to Brendan. Attending the Court of Honor was Brendan’s family, including grandmother Betty Bruno of Bellaire, Ohio; parents Julie and Gary Bruno and brother Chris Bruno of Auburn, Washington; BSA Troop 474 members; and many other friends and community representatives.

St. James Episcopal Church, Kent, Washington, sponsors BSA Troop 474 and provides a meeting facility for the Troop’s weekly meetings. The Church has sponsored the Troop for over 35 years. The Scoutmaster is Mr. Kent Brooten.

The Washington State Park System, Dash Point State Park in Federal Way, Washington, sponsored Brendan’s Eagle Scout project. Ranger Lem Pratt and Assistant Ranger Mark Thompson provided valuable insight and assistance during planning and conducting the project. Mellisa Buckingham of the Pierce Conservation District also provided technical assistance to the project, particularly in identifying and selecting native plants.

Bruno has been a member of Troop 474 since March 2004, crossing over from Cub Scouts where he earned its highest advancement-the Arrow of Light award for the WEBELO rank.

Bruno’s Scoutmaster, Kent Brooten, has been the leader of Troop 474 for almost 35 years, being an excellent role model and providing strong leadership for its youth. Mr. Brooten’s emphasis has been for Scouts to learn valuable life skills in leadership and survival by following the Scout Motto-“Be Prepared.” Mr. Brooten also emphasizes Scouts’ involvement in and providing service to their communities, as evidenced by Brendan’s Eagle Scout Leadership Community Service Project.

Brendan achieved the BSA Life rank in August 2008 and has been an active member in his Troop. He achieved Eagle Scout rank April 15.

To earn Eagle Scout rank, each candidate must be an active member in his Troop, hold a leadership position, earn at least 21 merit badges (including 12 Eagle-required badges), and successfully complete a Leadership Service Project, benefiting his local community. Finally, the Eagle candidate must receive letters of reference/recommendation from persons familiar with his persona, meet in a Scoutmaster’s conference with his Troop leader, and then complete a BSA Council-level Board of Review. These rigors result in only about 4 percent of all Scouts achieving the highest rank of Eagle Scout.

Buno has held several leadership positions during his scouting tenure, including:

  • Assistant Senior Patrol Leader
  • Patrol Leader
  • Assistant Patrol Leader
  • Dutch Oven Cooking Instructor
  • Chaplain Aide

He has received numerous honors and awards since joining Troop 474, including:

  • Leave No Trace certification
  • 50-Miler Afoot, twice (trek at BSA Philmont High Adventure Scout Ranch, New Mexico, summer 2007, as guest of Troop 944 of West Chester, Ohio, Scoutmaster David Bruno; and trek with Troop 474 on Pacific Crest Trail, Mt. Adams to Highway 12, during summer 2009, Scoutmaster Kent Brooten)
  • BSA Mile Swim
  • Duty to God (Philmont)
  • 62 nights of camping

Brendan’s project involved eradicating the noxious plant English Ivy from a 5,000 square-foot area on the north side of the Dash Point State Park, Federal Way, Washington. The project, including two field sessions in November and December, 2009, was conducted in cooperation with the Washington State Park System at Dash Point State Park. Bruno led 57 volunteers, in 255 combined man-hours, to remove the invasive, non-native ivy.

The project team removed English Ivy by pulling and digging the noxious ground cover, then hauling it to designated disposal piles. After eradicating the ivy, native species of ferns, shrubs, and grasses were transplanted back to the project site from a nearby location in the park. Finally, leafy litter from the surrounding areas of the project site was hauled and spread over the bare ground and transplanted plants, providing protection from erosion.

Brendan will be a senior this 2010-2011 school year at Auburn Riverside High School, Auburn, Washington, and a participant in the Washington State Running Start Program. He will be attending the Green River Community College (GRCC) full time as a high school senior. Brendan’s current cumulative high school GPA is 3.85, after completing the eleventh grade and first year of the GRCC Running Start Program.

Bruno has achieved eligibility in his high school National Honor Society, and is also a member of the community college Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, both prestigious academic achievements.

Bruno is also a three-year Varsity Letterman of his high school’s swimming team. His team has achieved a 9-1 record this season in the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, West Central District III, South Puget Sound League, 4A, North Division. During this past season, his swim/dive team participated in the 19th Annual Kentridge Invitational held at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington, which included 39 teams from the region. In the event, Brendan set personal best times in three individual events: 100-yard butterfly, 100-yard breaststroke, and the 100-yard freestyle, as well as participated in two relay events.

Furthermore, Brendan is an accomplished pianist. He has been taking lessons and performing since about the second grade. He recently received an award for achieving three consecutive “Superior Rating” scores at yearly Washington State Music Teachers sponsored performance adjudication events. His current piano teacher is Tia Monsen of Lakeland Hills, Auburn, Washington. Additionally because of his talent, Brendan also earned the BSA Merit Badge in Music where he was required to perform several hours of music in his community.

Brendan’s post high school dream is to study Architecture at the University of Washington, College of Built Environments. His academic achievements and design skills place him right on track in achieving his goal.

Brendan is the son of Gary and Julie Bruno of Auburn, Washington. They have been involved with Troop 474 since 1999.

Bruno’s older brother Chris Bruno is also an Eagle Scout from Troop 474, 2005.

Bruno’s paternal grandparents are Betty Bruno and the late David Bruno, Sr., of Willow Grove, Bellaire.

Brendan’s maternal grandparents are the late Betty and Julian “Pete” Steyskal, formerly of the Hollywood and Fullerton, California, areas.