Congressman Greg Walden delivers the key note speech during the Eagle Scout Cermony for Sean Naumes, left, Elliot Anderson, Joe Naumes, and Will Dibb Saturday. - Jamie Lusch

Four local Boy Scouts achieve top ranking

MEDFORD — Four high school seniors were named Eagle Scouts on Saturday in a ceremony that included some top brass in the local community and an Eagle-Scout-turned-congressman who used some scouting skills of his own to arrive in time to deliver his speech.

St. Mary's seniors Elliot Anderson, Will Dibb and brothers Joe and Sean Naumes were honored during a ceremony on Saturday before more than 100 friends and family at St. Mary's School.

The ceremony was especially unusual, said Crater Lake Council unit commissioner Don Keck, due to the number of boys being recognized; nationwide, only two in 100 Boy Scouts attain the rank of Eagle.

The foursome, all members of Troop 111, made a pact to receive their Eagle Scout recognition, the highest honor a boy scout can earn, together when their newest member, Dibb, joined the troop two years ago.

Congressman Greg Walden, an Eagle Scout himself, spoke at the boys ceremony after a trip that, in and of itself, required some inner scout stamina.

When the interstate between Hood River and Troutdale closed some 30 minutes before he got to it, Walden relayed a story of using studded tires, four wheel drive and a shortcut or two to get to the airport just as his plane departed overhead.

After hopping aboard a charter plane, the congressman arrived just in time for his speech to tell the boys their scouting skills would serve them well throughout life.

Walden thanked the boys' parents for seeing them through "rainy nights in the woods, dirty boots, sewing of badges and pitch-covered camp gear."

Walden earned his Eagle Scout badge in the summer of 1974, he said, after landscaping the entrance to Parkdale Elementary School just before he left for college.

Anderson, who invited Walden to speak at the ceremony after hearing a speech by the congressman, completed his Eagle Scout project four years ago by reworking several miles of trail in the Grizzly Peak system.

A year ago, brothers Joe and Sean Naumes, both 18, took on a project at St. Joseph's Catholic Church; Joe created a parking area for a priest and Sean revamped the landscape and irrigation system on the grounds.

During the current school year, Will Dibb, the newest member of Scout Troop 111, restored a riparian area where an old irrigation dam was removed in Bear Creek Park.

"We're all buddies so we waited until we were all done with our projects to do this together," Anderson said.

Mayor Gary Wheeler said the four boys were proof "there are a lot of really good kids out there."

Walden presented the four boys with American flags flown over the state capitol last week and certificates commending them on a job well done. Brothers Sean and Joe said they were happy the four friends received their Eagle Scout awards at the same time.

"It's been a long road but lots of memories and lots of fun," Sean said.

"It's been about rising through the ranks and making a name for ourselves," added Joe.

"The things you learn are obviously important in life — things you take with you."

Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. Reach her at

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