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Lahaina students join ranks of Eagle Scouts

By Staff | Jun 30, 2011

From left, Loupua Hafoka, Souisia Ika and Taniela Tuakoi have fulfilled the requirements to become Eagle Scouts.

LAHAINA — The Boy Scouts of America remains a tried and true pathway to upstanding character for teenagers all across the nation, and here in Lahaina that march to maturity continues with the advancement of the organization in the community.

With the help of their leaders and with the support of family and fellow Boy Scouts, three members of Troop 92 of Lahaina recently completed the requirements for the coveted rank of Eagle Scout.

The upcoming attainment of the Eagle Scout ranking for three teens from Troop 79 signals a definitive resurgence of Scouting here on the West Side.

Troops 79 and 92 both call the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Lahaina their home base.

Under the guidance of Eagle Scout Review Commissioner Grayce Dean and Tongan Troop 92 Scoutmaster Leone Pahulu, 18-year-olds Sousiua Ika and Taniela Tuakoi, and Loupua Hafoka, 17, have all completed the requirements for the highest ranking and will receive the coveted certificates from the national office of the Boy Scouts of America at a ceremony later this month.

Ika, Tuakoi and Hafoka have all demonstrated the perseverance and care, over the past two years in particular, to complete the daunting list of requirements, including a major community project for each of them.

All three earned 21 Merit Badges, including 12 required, in the effort leading up to the culminating project that would be worked on after the check list was completed.

The required Merit Badges included citizenship, community, nation, world, communication, environmental science, family life, personal management, emergency preparedness, swimming, personal fitness, first aid and camping.

For their community projects, Ika led a cleanup effort at the sump area adjacent to Lahaina Aquatic Center, Tuakoi guided a rock wall restoration at Lahainaluna High School and Hafoka organized and completed a project to clean up and paint the Luna athletic equipment room.

“They all worked very hard at their projects, and everyone is pleased with their effort,” commented Commissioner Dean.

All three boys graduated from Lahainaluna last month and were standout members of the Luna football program.

Now, with the additional milestone of Eagle Scout certification, they have a firm foundation from which they will venture into their adult futures.

As members of the Mormon Church, each will embark on a two-year mission sometime in the near future while also forging their plans for college and career.

“I have a feeling of accomplishment, yes,” said Ika last week at the church in Lahaina.

“This took quite a while to complete, but it was worth all the work we put into it. I had a lot of support from my family and from the church, and I am very thankful to everyone for their help. For now, I’m working with my dad to help support the family and I will go on my mission in December I’m looking forward to that.”

With the additional three new Eagle Scouts from Troop 79 led by Scoutmaster Joshua Dean, the total number that have attained the rank in Lahaina since 1984 totals 42.

“There are about 50 boys involved with the Boy Scouts here in West Maui with the two troops here and another in Napili,” explained Grayce.

“We are pleased with the active movement of the Boy Scouts here.”