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Two teens lend helping hands to earn Eagle Scout rank

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Since 1910, an estimated 2 percent of Boy Scouts of America have earned its highest rank, Eagle. Rocklin’s Austin D. Tautu and David J. Garrett can now be counted among them. Troop 440, sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recently honored Tautu and Garrett at a special Eagle Court of Honor ceremony. As part of the steps necessary to earn the rank of Eagle, Garrett organized a project that shipped four pallets of sports equipment to children in Baja Mexico. “We went there a few years ago for a family vacation, and I saw the poverty,” said Garrett. “They were playing sports on dirt fields, and it made me want to give back to them. This equipment is like brand new to the kids down there. “ The used sports equipment was donated by members of several organizations, including Rocklin Youth Soccer, Roseville Youth Soccer Club, Rocklin Little League, Roseville Pony Baseball and Tri-City Little League as well as church members. “After it all, the founder of the organization sent us pictures of the kids that got the sports equipment we sent. I really liked seeing that,” said Garrett. Distribution was arranged through a charity foundation, Youth Education Sports, working in Baja Mexico. “The Y.E.S. foundation uses the equipment to help create teams in underprivileged areas and teach kids teamwork and accomplishment,” said Monte Garrett, David’s father. Austin Tautu organized a woodworking project to build shelves and revive tables for the children’s therapy room at a Roseville non-profit.. “Roseville Home Start is an organization that provides help for homeless families trying to get back on their feet,” said Tautu. “They offer job training and a place to live while helping them to establish a permanent home. Often times the children staying there have been traumatized and they provide therapy for the children to help them get through.” Tautu had a lot to say to younger scouts in the program. “It was really fun when I was younger, in Cub Scouts, and as I moved up I found there were things I’d rather do than scouting,” he said. “But then there’s the camping, the service projects, the activities. You get to spend a lot of time with your dad in scouting. Those are the things that you take back memories from. Go ahead and do it, you’ll feel the rewards in the end; It’s a great sense of accomplishment.” Like many Boy Scout troops, Troop 440 is sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is closely integrated into the church’s youth program. “It is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America to serve others by helping to instill values in young people and, in other ways, to prepare them to make ethical choices over their lifetime in achieving their full potential,” said Thomas S. Monson, Church president. The church became the first institutional sponsor of Boy Scouts of America in 1913. ~ Staff report