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Scout may earn Eagle wings

Aspiring Eagle Scout Josh Sykes was a passenger in a car driven by his Dad, Hank Mann-Sykes, as the two cruised into Silverdale recently. They came from the north, via Viking Way, when Dad noticed something missing.

“My Dad came up with the idea,” said Josh, referring to his nearly-completed Eagle Scout project. “He noticed the ‘Welcome to Silverdale’ sign was missing, and suggested it would make a great project to help me earn my Eagle Scout” status.

The sign idea was hatched in late October. The younger Sykes got to work planning. He polled sign makers and others on how it was done. He found he didn’t need new permits from the county, since the original sign’s permits were still valid. He persuaded Advanced Rentals and Home Depot to donate about a $1,000-worth of equipment and wood, respectively. And persuaded some two dozen Scouts, Scout leaders, and friends to build the sign.

By Scout rules, he was not allowed to participate in the building. The task was a test of leadership abilities.

Well, the planning took longer than expected — 30 hours — and was “harder, more stressful.” The construction took 22 hours over a single weekend, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, the last of January and the first of this month.

“It was the quickest Eagle project I know of,” said Josh Sykes. Though one of his friends suffered a broken ankle during construction. Josh, 17, said he felt bad about that part.

Josh’ share of re-building the sign is done. But the billboard remains a tabula rasa. It will be finished when “Welcome to Silverdale” and a reference to “Whaling Days” is inscribed on the top half, and the bottom half is decorated with symbols of local service clubs, such as the Rotary.

Josh is a senior at CK High with a GPA of 2.9. “...I’m working on it.” He was born in Kirkland and moved here at age 3 with his family. His ambitions include being an underwater photographer for National Geographic, or a meteorologist, or a forest ranger. He realizes these ambitions decrease in difficulty, first to last, and he indicated he was going to start with the first one and go down the list until he gets the job.

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