Scout banquet honors Eagles
The Buckhorn District Scouts held their annual Eagle Scout awards banquet at the Museum of the San Rafael. Robert Blackburn welcomed the new Eagle Scouts and their parents. Eagle Scouts from Castle Dale Stake performed the flag ceremony. Dinner was catered by Hometown Market from Huntington.
Following the dinner, Russ Anderson, the strength coach at American Fork High School was introduced as the guest speaker. Anderson is a winter sports enthusiast, Utah State Champion weight lifter, and also placed sixth in the Texas strongman competition. He is also an Eagle Scout.
"I earned my Eagle Scout three weeks shy of my 18th birthday. My younger brother received his at that same banquet. I waited until the last minute," said Anderson.
"I grew up in Spanish Fork and went to high school there. I was a baseball player and needed a 2.0 grade point average to stay on the team. My mom and dad decided to sign me up for some easy classes to help my GPA. They signed me up for Spanish and weight lifting. When report cards came out, I got Ds in both classes. My dad was shocked," continued Anderson.
"I hated that class. It was full of football players and wrestlers. It was like attending an hour of Hades for a skinny little baseball player. Turns out, 21 years later, I can speak perfect Spanish, along with Portuguese, and I am one of the strongest men on Earth. I am a perfect example of making your weaknesses into your strengths. Attitude is everything, get your attitude right," said Anderson.
He went on to tell how Eagle Scouts are not quitters, and they are not slackers. "At age 39, I am not done. I plan to win the Texas strong man competition this year. I have never used steroids, but I have beaten athletes who have," Anderson said.
Anderson showed a video of the events in which he competes. He pulls fire trucks, lifts cars, flops over 800 pound tires, lifts 770 pounds in the super yoke competition, and many other lifting events. He told the scouts he eats 8,000-10,000 calories a day, and nutrition is very important. Eating the right things is more important for your body. He encouraged the Scouts to research nutrition and eat the right way. He eats only brown rice, wheat breads, and whole wheat pastas, nothing refined.
"This body is the vessel of this life," Anderson said. "And remember, you are only as good as the people you hang out with. Another important trait is integrity. Integrity is what you do when no one is watching you. I believe God is always watching. Focus on helping others also."
Anderson told of when his turn around from high school happened. He was called on a mission for the LDS Church to South America. The D in Spanish would come into play there. Whether he liked it or not, he would learn to speak Spanish. His missionary companion made him get up at 5 a.m. to lift weights. After several months, he realized how much more energy he had and how much better he felt.
"Down there, you had no choice but to eat healthy. We ate a lot of chicken, beans and rice. We also had our share of riding bikes and running to appointments," said Anderson. "It is very important to stay physically fit. Nutrition means more to fitness that lifting weights. Be goal oriented. If something doesn't work out for you, try something else. If you make fitness a priority, everything else will work out for you. Treat your body with respect and be careful of what you eat," stated Anderson.
He told the scouts, you are assigned two things in life, your genes and your nicknames. He said you can't do anything about those, but you can do something about the condition of your life vessel. "I am just as proud of my Eagle Scout as I am of the silver medal I won for our country," concluded Anderson.
Paul Birdsey, representing the Price Elks Lodge congratulated the Eagle Scouts for earning the award. He said he was from an active troop and earned his Eagle. "The troop I was in went camping 11 times a year. One year we went to the beach for our camp out. We happened to be camping during one of the season's hurricanes. We learned a little about survival. But I learned more important lessons from scouting. I learned teamwork and leadership. I hope you Scouts have learned the same lessons. You will need them and use them during your life," said Birdsey.
Birdsey asked all the Scouts present to stand and they all repeated the Scout Law together. Birdsey presented each new Eagle Scout with an American Flag from the Elks Lodge.
Mesia Nyman announced the names of the new Eagle Scouts, and Danna Gray, Douglas Weaver, Robert Blackburn, Anderson and Birdsey congratulated them and presented them with their Eagle.
The Eagle Scouts receiving their award that night were: Taylor Clyde Behling, Justin Neil Cox, Jace Bret Fausett, Royce Curtis Gillins, Chase Lee Humphrey, Benjamin Aaron Jewkes, Joseph Leedan Johnson, Ryne Tanner Jones, Skyler William Jorgensen, Mark Dean Luce, Nathan William Mecham, Benjamin Jeremiah Partis, Kameron Ross Stilson, Jesse Dean Winn and Daniel Cade Whittle.