Santa Ana, California (PressExposure) September 15, 2011 -- Wesley Cooper, 17, Mission Viejo, CA has earned the highest advancement award the Boy Scouts of America offers to Scouts, the Eagle Scout Award. A member of Troop 634 in Lake Forest, Cooper is one of approximately 4 percent of all Boy Scouts who attain the Eagle rank, according to Scoutmaster Steve Nightingale.
Candidates must earn at least 21 merit badges and successfully complete a community or church service project to earn the Eagle. Cooper chose to build a wooden handball wall for Carden Academy, a Mission Viejo private school that he attended from first through eighth grade. "I have fond memories of attending Carden Academy and wanted to provide the students with a way to have fun and burn energy in a healthy way" Cooper said. "He created a much needed handball court, which is a wonderful expansion to our playground" a Carden Academy eighth grader said.
During his 11 years in scouting Cooper served in various leadership positions within Troop 634, including Patrol Leader, Quartermaster, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader. Cooper is also a BSA-trained Lifeguard and is one of 3 Scouts in Orange County to receive a BSA Heroism Award. Cooper displayed his heroism for coming to the immediate aid of a friend who suffered a serious fall from his skateboard, hitting his head and going into a seizure. Cooper's clear thinking and calm disposition (following years of Boy Scout first aid and emergency training) helped him stabilize his friend until help arrived.
Cooper joins other outstanding American citizens who have become Eagle Scouts, among them former President Gerald R. Ford, Jr., astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, cinematographer Steven Spielberg, and the head of the F.B.I., William Sessions.
Carden Academy of Mission Viejo is a private school in Mission Viejo, Calif. Founded in 1994, today Carden is home to students in grades kindergarten through eight. Based on the methods and curriculum of Mae Carden, the school's mission is to provide children with a solid foundation in the academic subjects, to awaken them to the beauty in nature, music and art, to develop their characters as a basis for joyful and fulfilling lives and to create leaders who will stand prepared to meet the challenges of the future with confidence. To learn more, visit http://www.cardenacademy.com.