- WHO: Giovanni Danforth of Boy Scout Troop 533
- WHAT: Eagle Scout Court of Honor
- WHEN: Noon Saturday
- WHERE: Father Connors Hall, 220 N. Salado Ave.
- MERIT BADGES EARNED: Astronomy, aviation, canoeing, camping, communications, emergency preparedness, family life, fingerprinting, environmental science, first aid, orienteering, fish and wildlife management, geology, Indian lore, mammal studies, pioneering, plumbing, personal fitness, swimming, wood carving, personal management, rifle shooting, wilderness survival, reptile and amphibian study, citizenship in the community, citizenship in the nation and citizenship in the world.
Giovanni Danforth of Boy Scout Troop 533 will be honored at noon Saturday with an Eagle Court of Honor. Becoming an Eagle Scout is the highest achievement a Boy Scout can earn after completing a service project and earning 21 merit badges, 12 of which are required.
Danforth, 17-year-old son of Bill and Manuela Danforth, is a senior at Central Catholic High School in Modesto.
He began working on his project in June 2008, in the area where a new statue of St. Vincent de Paul would stand on the property of Sacred Heart School.
“He took care of organizing the workforce and getting all the other kids from the troop,” said Jason Oliveira, Sacred Heart principal. “It was nice a former student included us in the project.”
It took 10 people 97 hours to complete a project that included digging trenches for the purpose of putting in a walkway, planting trees and bushes and installing permanent benches.
“I wanted to give back to the Sacred Heart School because of all the school had given me,” Danforth said.
Danforth started his scouting career as a Tiger Cub when he was in first grade. He joined Troop 533 after earning his Arrow of Light in 2002. While in the troop, Danforth has served as patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader and junior assistant Scoutmaster with the troop.
In 2005, he attended the National Jamboree on the East Coast and was a patrol leader and guide for special-needs Troop 625. He also took 50-mile hikes backpacking along the Lost Coast of California in the summer of 2007.
In the summers of 2007 and 2008, Danforth was on the staff of Camp John Mensinger, where he was a camp counselor, camp commissioner and merit badge counselor. As a member of the staff, Danforth is also a member of Venture Crew 5906. At the camp, he taught camping, pioneering, Indian lore, emergency preparedness and wilderness survival to younger Scouts.
Danforth’s mother said he has learned much along the way and has enjoyed every moment.
“He has acquired lots of practical skills as well as leadership abilities,” Manuela Danforth said. “He has made lots of friends and was mentored by some very generous, selfless and knowledgeable adults during the years.
“I know scouting is not for everyone, but it has definitely been a great experience for Giovanni.”
At Sacred Heart, Danforth is a lector, was an altar server when he was younger and helps out whenever needed. He has helped at a homeless shelter through the church, and one Sunday every month, his family cooks a meal and takes it to a shelter to serve it.
Danforth’s community activities include the Scouting for Food Drive, helping the local Rotary Cub with its annual crab feed and helping other Scouts with their Eagle projects.
He also won seven Stanislaus County Academic Decathlon medals this year, is on the soccer team and is a member of the Adventure Club at Central Catholic.
Danforth plans to attend Claremont McKenna College and study economics and physics, though he has not decided on a career.
Danforth joined the Scouts because he thought it would be fun camping and hiking — but he came away with much more.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot of valuable skills,” Danforth said. “On top of that, I’ve grown in leadership and responsibility.”
Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187 or email@example.com,