It’s not every day you get to see 12 Eagles in one room. This was exact­ly the sight on Sun­day at Camp Tra­cy, how­ev­er. A com­mu­ni­ty from Salt Lake City gath­ered at the camp to hon­or their 12 Eagles — 12 young men who were receiv­ing Eagle Scout Award. 

These Eagles over­came all odds to achieve this award. The boys, along with their fam­i­lies fled from a bru­tal gov­ern­ment in Bur­ma and set­tled in Salt Lake City, Utah. After arriv­ing in Salt Lake, they joined Scout­ing, which has made all the dif­fer­ence in their lives. 

Very few of the boys knew each oth­er before they joined Scout­ing. Now, they’ve all become close friends. It’s not a huge exag­ger­a­tion to say that the struc­ture, direc­tion, dis­ci­pline— and even love — pro­vid­ed by Scout­ing has saved their lives. The pro­grams and the lead­ers helped these Scouts stay out of trou­ble and off the streets. These young men are now exam­ples to the com­mu­ni­ty and show a ded­i­ca­tion and respect for all that they do. 

The Great Salt Lake Council’s Utah Refugee Scout Pro­gram is chaired by Michael Nebek­er. He is an Eagle Scout who in his day job rais­es funds for Oper­a­tion Smile a glob­al net­work of doc­tors. They donate thou­sands of hours of ser­vice to pro­vide sur­gi­cal care for chil­dren with a cleft palate.

A fear­less Eagle star­ing in the face of a screech­ing Bald Eagle.

These refugees need Scout­ing more than ever before,” he said. “They need Scout­ing, and we need them.”

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Madison Austin
studies Public Relations at Brigham Young University and is a marketing specialist at the Utah National Parks Council. She is an avid hiker and enjoys being outdoors. Growing up in the mountainous regions of Colorado and Virginia enabled her to follow these passions. After moving to Utah to attend college, she has spent her time fostering both a career in Communications and a love for Utah's National Parks.

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