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Orange County Boy Scouts of America

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The Class of 2011 Eagle Scouts Honored

The 2012 Orange County Council, Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner, held on Wednesday, March 28 was by all accounts a huge success!  Over 525 Eagles Scouts, their sponsors, parents and guests attended this year’s marquee event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Garden Grove.   

The room was filled with nearly 200 of our Class of 2011 Eagle Scouts, each paired up with a sponsor for the evening, as well as scores of “experienced” Eagle Scouts.  We were also graced by the presence of four “Distinguished Eagle Scouts” from the Orange County Council.  They included: the Honorable Congressman, Bill Dannemeyer, Dr. Frank Rubino, Robert AndersonShoepe, and Mike Harrison.   

The evening began with a fantastic reception that included a display of over 30 Eagle Scout projects and representatives from approximately 10 local and nationally renowned universities in the hotel courtyard.

The dinner program was altogether uplifting, inspiration and celebratory, with fantastic video elements and sound system. 

It also included special recognitions, the National Outstanding Eagle Scout Award, presented to two Orange County Eagle Scouts, Mayor/Assemblyman Curt Pringle and Scout Stamp designer, Randall Frank and the National Adams Outstanding Eagle Project Award, presented to Eagle Scout, Hayden Hall. 

But the highlight of the night was the keynote speaker, Mike Gibbons.

Mt. Everest Conqueror and Eagle Scout,
Mike Gibbons Keynote Speaker
at the Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner

Mike Gibbons presentation was just spectacular!  His message was spot on for our Class of 2011 Eagle Scouts…motivational and educational.  Mike, an Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 778 in the Portola District, made local and national headlines back in May of 2011 when he summited Mt. Everest. The author of “Attitude over Altitude”, Mike’s summit was anything but typical. At 22,000 up the side of Everest a snow bridge broke beneath him and he found himself hanging from a rope 20 feet deep into a crevasse with damage to his arm and back. The next step—descending the dangerous Khumbu Ice Fall with only one usable arm, to be helicopter evacuated off the mountain. However, this wasn’t the end of Mike’s summit story. After coming back to Orange County for medical treatment to discover from his orthopedic surgeon that his arm wasn’t broken, Mike found the courage and mustered the tenacity to return to Everest to start all over again on his quest to summit the tallest point on the planet…Mt. Everest, the granddaddy of them all at 29,035 feet.

Mike shared his compelling story which his extraordinary list of other trekking triumphs, including Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (19,340 ft.), Mt Shasta in California (14,162 ft.), Mt. Elbrus in Russia (18,481 ft.), Mt. Whitney in California (14,498 ft.), Mt. McKinley/Denali in Alaska (20,320 ft.), Mt. Vinson Massif in Antarctica (16,067 ft.), Mt. Rainier in Washington (14,410 ft.), Mt Aconcagua in Australia (7,310 ft.), The Matterhorn in Switzerland (14,687 ft.) and Mt Carstenz Pyramid in Indonesia (16,023 ft.). He is one of only 125 people in history to have climbed to the top of the eight highest peaks in the world in each of seven continents. Mike has degrees from Harvard and Stanford Universities, is the owner of a successful equity investment business and has a rich Scouting background here in Southern California. His amazing story had us all on the edge of our seats for 40 minutes as we journeyed with him to the top of the highest peak on earth, Mt. Everest.  How did he do it?  Indelibly implanted Scout skills, unparalleled strong will and an abiding faith in God.


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