L. Ron Hubbard Honored by Order of the Arrow for Pioneering Mt. Rainier Trail Building Project

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Order of the Arrow recognizes Boy Scouts from Seattle, Tacoma, Everett and Bellingham for the pioneering 1925 Eagle Trail Project on Mt. Rainier including L. Ron Hubbard who became America's youngest Eagle Scout in 1924.

Thirteen Eagle Scouts were honored by Seattle’s Order of the Arrow Council for their historic 1925 pioneering trail building project on Mt. Rainier 90 years ago. The scouts were handpicked from the Pacific Northwest cities of Bellingham, Everett, Tacoma and Seattle. Significant Eagle Scouts involved included Floyd Hansen (Bellingham) a Major General in the U.S. Army and L. Ron Hubbard (Seattle) the Founder of Scientology and was recently announced as among “The 100 Most Significant Americans of All Time” in the prestigious Smithsonian Magazine.

The presentation was made by Mike Gaylord, Lodge Advisor, T’kope Kwiskwis Lodge, Order of the Arrow, B.S.A who announced “These 13 Eagle Scouts created a legacy of service on our National Parks that continues today. The most recent evidence of this legacy is two service projects carried out in Mt. Rainier National Park, by members of The Order of the Arrow Lodge T’kope Kwiskwis, Chief Seattle Council, Boy Scouts of America. These two projects, known as ArrowCorps 502 and ArrowCorps Trail Crew provided approximately 3,000 hours of trial work and restoration within the park.” Gaylord added, “May their inspiration guide generations of Eagle Scouts to a lifetime of cheerful service.”

The Seattle contingent consisted of: Norton Benham, L. Ron Hubbard, Quinton Peniston and Glen Peterson. From Tacoma: Glen Holfeditz, AI Jorgesen, Albert King and Clifford O'Conner. From Everett: Norman Hume, Harry Shaffer, and Norman Shears. And from Bellingham: Floyd Hansen and Vernon Vine.

This 1925 Trail Building served as a pioneering accomplishment for the Scouts involved and heralded the start of a relationship between the Boy Scouts of America and the National Park Service which continues to this day across the country.

Just last year the original trail head marker reading “Eagle Trail, Built By Eagle Scouts of Western Washington, 1925 was located on Mt. Rainier by former park Archeologist Carl Fabiani and Chris Finn of the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard Foundation.

The project was presented in a historical display and can be viewed at Pacific Harbors Boy Scout Council in Tacoma and at the T’kope Kwiskwis Lodge at Camp Piggot in Monroe, Washington. The display features photographs, maps, letters and newspaper articles including the original headline of 13 August 1925 from the Tacoma News Tribune which read, “Scouts Begin Trail-Making Project in Park” and outlined the project that included the top Eagle Scouts from Western Washington cities who constructed two trails over a 10-day period with their lodging, food and expenses covered by the government.

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Francisco Sanz Polo
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