A legacy in Boy Scouting that dates back more than 60 years came full circle on Saturday with the third generation of one family earning his Eagle Scout rank.
Joseph Sioui, 16, of Arlington Heights received his award at a court of honor ceremony held by Troop 32 at the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington Heights. His achievement brings the number to 109 Eagles for this troop, which is sponsored by the Men's Club and will celebrate its 75th anniversary next month.
On hand for the celebration was Joseph's father, Dan Sioui, Scoutmaster, who earned his Eagle award in 1983, and his grandfather Richard, who earned the rank in 1955.
"My father and grandfather inspired me," says Joseph, who will be a junior at Rolling Meadows High School. "It's a long road and a lot of hard work, but I'm starting to realize, 'Wow, I'm here.'"
Dan Sioui grew up in Holden, Massachusetts, where his father was the assistant Scoutmaster and committee chairman of his troop. Some of his favorite memories of Scouting were the many camping trips the troop made in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine that included backpacking on cross-country skis and canoeing down the Sacco River.
His son echoes those same sentiments. When asked about his favorite part of Scouting, he answers without hesitation: camping, especially the High Adventure trips to the Boundary Waters located within the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota.
"The obstacles are bigger," Joseph says. "You're surrounded by wilderness in the middle of the forest and you have to do everything for yourself. But it's so rewarding when you're done."
Kind of like earning the rank of Eagle Scout. Just advancing through the required ranks of Boy Scouts takes years, and Scouts need to earn a minimum of 21 required merit badges -- all before planning and executing an Eagle Scout project.
Scouting officials say that only 4 percent of boys who participate achieve the highest rank of Eagle Scout.
For his project, Joseph organized a talent show for residents of Church Creek senior living community in Arlington Heights, where he had volunteered during middle school. The show involved classmates and other Scouts from the troop in six featured acts.
He played drums with a quartet, doing a rendition of "Sweet Home, Chicago" for the appreciative audience.
Dan Sioui's project involved identifying the abundant tree and plant species in a nature preserve near his hometown of Holden. He made a sign to help visitors recognize all the different varieties on display.
Richard Sioui became an Eagle Scout before the requirement of completing an overarching project was added, but he says, nonetheless, the process shaped him and served him well during his adult life.
"The Scouting program teaches the boys self-reliance, perseverance, leadership and other principles as described in its oath and law," says Richard Sioui, a retired chemical engineer.
"It does this in the framework of camping and other activities the youth enjoy while learning these principles."
Both men continue to remain active in Scouting as adult volunteers. As soon as he retired, Richard Sioui returned to serve as a unit commissioner, overseeing two Cub Scout packs and two Boy Scout troops, while his son now serves as Scoutmaster.
"These are formative years," Dan Sioui says, "and what a positive impact it makes to have opportunities for new experiences -- both in activities and personal responsibility."