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Eagle Scout gets a surprise guest

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Editor
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Jacob Woliver, with Loomis Boy Scouts of America Troop 12, recently received his Eagle Scout award and had a Court of Honor on March 3 that included a memorable surprise. 

Jacob, 16, a Del Oro High School junior, said he wanted to give his mentor pin to Ryan MacLeod, a Troop 12 Eagle Scout now serving in the U.S. Army and stationed in Hawaii.

“I chose Ryan because he’s always been there for me. Him getting his Eagle inspired me to get mine. He helped me get First Class rank. We did 20 or 30 requirements all in one day,” Jacob said.

But since MacLeod was not able to attend the Court of Honor, Jacob planned to present the pin to MacLeod’s father.

MacLeod is an Army Private first class, who graduated from Del Oro in 2011 and was a 4-H summer camp volunteer.

Without Jacob’s knowledge, Troop 12’s Scoutmaster Michael Hewitt sent a letter to MacLeod’s commanding officer requesting that he be granted leave to attend the ceremony. His commanding officer agreed and MacLeod’s parents flew him home to attend the Court of Honor.

MacLeod said, “I was just glad I could be there to surprise him. I wasn’t told my leave was approved until about 12 hours before I left the island, but I made it.”

When Jacob was speaking at the event about his mentor being unable to attend because he was serving in Hawaii, Jacob’s family said MacLeod stepped out to the surprise and joy of those attending.

“Everyone was in tears and I still get emotional thinking about it,” said Jacob’s mom, Debbie.

MacLeod said he felt “really honored to receive the mentor pin, especially after hearing Jacob’s speech and knowing that I was able to convince him to stay in Scouts.”

Jacob said when he first saw MacLeod at the Court of Honor, “I had a big smile on my face. I thought it was really amazing and astonishing he would take time off to be there.”

In reflecting on the event, MacLeod said, “I was honored to find out Jacob had chosen me as his mentor, especially because I know how hard it is for you to pick the one person who has had the greatest impact on your life in Scouting.”

For his Eagle Scout project, Jacob built a shed on the Del Oro FFA farm to use for plant/produce sales during the FFA’s open house weekends.

When asked what he said to MacLeod after the ceremony, Jacob said he told him, “I love you bro and thank you very much for everything.”