Three young men from Eatonville and Graham officially became Eagle Scouts last weekend. For one of them, the road to Boy Scouts’ highest rank was particularly long.
Lukus Alexei Leonard was born in Russia and lived in an orphanage “until we adopted him at age 3,” said Terry Leonard. At that time, he didn’t speak and was thought to have behavioral problems.
But now, “our son has not only survived but thrived as a United States citizen,” Terry Leonard said. She added that he has “excelled in every area of life and is now physically fit, excels academically (he enrolled in college at age 17), socially conscientious, emotionally sound and spiritually upstanding.”
Lukus Leonard and Malachi Nyhuis, who live in Eatonville, and Jonathan Turnick, a Graham resident, received their Eagle Scout awards at a ceremony May 31 at New Life Fellowship Church in Graham.
Nyhuis’ Eagle project, the culminating step into Eagle Scoutdom, involved landscape improvements at Eatonville Baptist Church and the placing of a “Ten Commandments” stone.
For his project, Turnick undertook outdoor work projects at Camp Arnold, the Salvation Army-owned retreat near Eatonville.
Leonard spearheaded renovations of Eatonville Community Center. He coordinated the project with town officials, gathered donations, bought supplies, recruited volunteers and supervised their work, which included painting interior walls and replacing old carpet and light fixtures. In addition, new signs were made for Eatonville Family Agency, which is housed at the center and runs a food bank and other social services, including rent and utilities assistance and adult daycare. The center also hosts other community activities.
Grateful town officials formally acknowledged Leonard’s role in the center’s facelift by surprising him with the presentation of a certificate and letter of appreciation at a Town Council meeting May 27.
They arranged with his mother to have him attend the meeting. He didn’t know the real reason he was there “until they called his name,” Terry Leonard said.
Lukus went from the council meeting to his regular Scout troop meeting to teach physical fitness to other Scouts.
The new Eagle Scouts are members of the Pacific Harbors Council of Boy Scouts.