Bobby Hernandez: Becoming an Eagle Scout

When Bobby Hernandez of Troop 1775 decided to be a Boy Scout, he was already 14 years old. But after meeting a Boy Scout at summer camp in Lake Arrowhead, Bobby was determined to exemplify the same sort of confidence in himself that he saw in his new friend. He not only sought out to be a Boy Scout, but from then on, he wanted to become an Eagle Scout. After seeing other Eagle Scouts, Bobby thought they, “stood like a shining beacon and were the objects of respect and admiration for the younger boys.” He wanted to be just like them.

Bobby decided his old middle school would be the perfect location to complete his Eagle Scout Project. He established a recycling program with the students and built several recycling containers for disposal. This project not only helped the environment, but also taught responsibility to the students in charge of the program. His journey for his award was much more than just the Boy Scout requirements, Bobby states: “It was learning to be a leader, and giving up your time and effort for the other boys. The road to Eagle has taught me more about myself and has done more for my maturity than any other task I have attempted to undertake.”

More important than having Eagle Scout added to his resume were the skills Bobby learned along the way, such as leadership, commitment and service. “These are skills which have made me confident in the person I am and allow me to stand tall and be a leader in any situation in which I might find myself.”

When compared to non-Scouts, Bobby finds that Scouts excel in leadership ability. “As we proceed from rank to rank, we slowly learn how to make decisions with confidence, to analyze situations carefully and to always have the people you are leading in mind.” A Scout is also committed and has a vision which he sees in everything he does. He has an ability to serve and help others, which drives him to work as hard as he can. In Bobby’s opinion, “the skills and character they develop stays with them their whole lives and gives them the skills necessary not only to be successful, but more importantly the vision to use that success in the right way to help others better themselves.”

Newport Sea Base Rowing and SoCal Scullers to Merge


The Newport Sea Base (NSB), a youth boating and maritime center located in Newport Harbor, is excited to announce that it is merging rowing operations with Southern California Scullers Club (SoCal Scullers), an elite rowing program formerly based out of Huntington Harbor. Dan McGill will fulfill the role of Men’s Varsity head coach and Ian Simpson will fulfill the position of Managing Director, and coach, under the current Rowing Director Michelle Green.

Dan McGill began rowing in 1984, at Oregon State University. McGill went on to amass 15 US National Rowing Championship medals while rowing for Vesper Boat Club in Philadelphia. He also won gold medals in the lightweight 4- at the 1987 Olympic Sports Festival and the 1987 Pan American Games.  Dan coached Long Beach Junior Crew, Varsity Men for a couple years before joining Ian Simpson in 2010 to coach the Long Beach Rowing Association’s Elite group.

Ian Simpson is a former member of the British International Rowing Committee. He was the Assistant Coach for the US Women’s National Rowing Team and helped prepare crews for national, world and Olympic competition. In 2009, Simpson founded the Elite Rowing Group at Long Beach Rowing Association, which was a training center focused on developing high performance athletes. He was also the US National Team Coach and Team Manager for the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

In 2013, Dan McGill and Ian Simpson founded the Southern California Scullers Club, which trains elite level rowers. They have taught many athletes including beginners, junior national champions, elite national champions, world champions and Olympic medalists. The club was the winner of the inaugural Red Bull High Stakes in 2015, its Scullers have won several national championships, and finished 2nd and 4th in the women’s single at the 2016 Olympic Trials.

Beyond the podium success, both coaches value character and leadership development. Their approach to youth development compliments the mission of the Newport Sea Base, which serves over 6,000 youth per year in a variety of boating and marine science programs. Commenting on the merger, Ian Simpson said, “We welcome this exciting opportunity that also provides a new home for our scullers.” Dan McGill added that “we are looking forward to helping to build and develop the already-successful youth and masters’ programs at Newport Sea Base.”

12th Annual Flag Day Ceremony

Scouts, Patriots, American Legion Post 862 and the City of RSM held the 12th annual community flag retirement ceremony. The event was held on Wednesday, June 14th at Rancho Santa Margarita City Hall at 22112 El Paseo, RSM 92688.

The community brought their worn unserviceable flags to the ceremony to be properly burned. Upwards of fifty flags were honored at this one event. Rancho Santa Margarita Mayor Carol Gamble and Mayor Pro-tempore Mike Vaughn each placed a flag in the fire while American Legion Chaplain Frank Cook saluted. The RSM City Council Jerry Holloway, Tony Beall and Brad McGirr placed a flag to be burned together as well. American Legion Piper Jim Clements performed the bagpipes for the memorable ceremony. This special event also recognized two Veteran Advocates, OC AutoWorx Richard Kallas and Monique Dumias-Chrisope from Troop/Crew 727, and presented them with the City Flag’s grommets.

Event Coordinator, Jim Clements states, “What makes this event different is that we invite the audience to place a flag in the fire. I would guarantee that you have never seen a retirement ceremony like this one.” Coordinating the event for the past 12 years, Clements is proud to continue this tradition for so long. It involves City Council, American Legion Post 862, VFW Post 6024, Girl Scout Units and so many Boy Scout Packs, Troops, and Crews.

17-year-old Boy Scout, Robert G. Heft was the designer of the current 50-star flag. He created the flag as part of a high school class project in 1958. Heft received a B- on the project, but President Eisenhower liked the design so much he chose it as the official flag two years later. Flag Day is a National Holiday that honors the adoption of the current flag of the United States.

Where They Are Now: Bill Hughes


Senior Officer Bill Hughes of Fountain Valley Police Department has been involved in the Explorer program for most of his teenage and adult life and has given his heart and soul to it. He started his law enforcement career as an Explorer at the age of 14 with the Westminster Police Department where he worked his way through the Explorer ranks and ultimately reached the pinnacle as an Explorer Captain.  After he aged out, he worked briefly as a TSA screener and supervisor until he joined the Fountain Valley Police Department. Because of his strong belief in the program, it didn’t take him long to reconnect with the Explorer program as an Advisor with Post 1007. He is also currently a K-9 handler with the department and a board member with the Fountain Valley Police Officers Association.

Bill has been an Advisor for 10 years and is currently the Lead Advisor for the Post. He is a top-notch leader who is well respected by his subordinates, peers, supervisors and most of all, his Explorers. Bill is dedicated to helping teens in work force development and career growth. He ensures the Explorers have the best training possible.

Bill has mentored well over 100 Explorers during his tenure with the Post, many of whom have begun their own careers in law enforcement. Those who have chosen other career paths have benefited from his leadership and guidance, making them better persons and citizens. This is a true testament to his dedication to the program.

Scout Luke Savage Assists Woman Struck By Vehicle

On Monday, May 1st, Luke Savage of Troop 525 and his dad, Shane Savage were on their way to school early morning in Anaheim Hills when they noticed an elderly woman lying face down in the middle of the street, bloodied, with several cars swerving to avoid her. They immediately pulled their vehicle to a safe location and retrieved the first aid kit they keep stored in the trunk. Once on scene, Shane instructed a bystander to call 911 and provide them with details, while Luke safely directed traffic to protect those assisting. Upon talking with the woman, it became clear that while trying to cross the street, the woman was hit by a car going around 35 miles per hour and suffered multiple abrasions, possible broken leg and ankle, and a major laceration to the back of her head. Once traffic was blocked by another vehicle, Luke immediately assisted the woman by using his body and hands to stabilize her back and neck to minimize the risk of any further injury, essentially immobilizing her. Luke continued to assist the woman until emergency responders placed the woman on a C-spine board and relived them of their aid.

Shane Savage states, “I was very proud of Luke in remaining calm, grounded in the situation and controlling the scene. His Boy Scout training was evident and I feel confident that he will have the self-confidence, knowledge, and ability to assist in emergency situations now and well into the future thanks to his training received via Boy Scouts and now his experience in doing so.” Luke has completed first aid training through Boy Scouts as part of his participation in Troop 525 and his rank advancement. Luke said, “Boy Scouts has taught me to always be prepared for any type of situation, which is why we had a first aid kit in the car. Also, through first aid training as part of my rank advancement, I was able to use the knowledge to help provide first aid to the lady.”