Scout's honor: Grann Steele is fourth Eagle in his family; honored by community
By DONNA LEE ANDERSON
Kingston Community News Columnist
March 19, 2012 · Updated 1:59 PM
KINGSTON — Only 2 percent of Boy Scouts have achieved the rank of Eagle since the rank was established in 1911. Four of those Eagle Scouts come from the same family in Kingston.
Grann Arthur Steele followed in the footsteps of his brother, dad and uncle and became the family's fourth Eagle Scout March 3. More than 100 people attended his Court of Honor ceremony at Bayside Church in Kingston and, of this group, there were 12 other Eagle Scouts. Among those attending was a Scout troop from Canada, as well as his brother Garrett, who became an Eagle in 2007; father Gary, who became an Eagle in 1972; and uncle Darrell, who became an Eagle in 1967.
Jim Almond, scoutmaster of Troop No. 1577, spoke about Scouting and then introduced several other speakers. Among them were Lou Bond, Kevin Grouse, Scott Murphy, Scott Shelton and Gene Settee. And while these speakers regaled the crowd about “What a stand-out citizen this boy is,” “What a bright spot he makes in this world” and “How much fun he is to know,” a slideshow of Grann’s growing-up years played on a large screen behind the podium. The audience saw him in his Tiger Scout uniform and at the Scout Jamboree in Washington, D.C. in 2010.
Grann received congratulatory letters from President and Mrs. Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden.
The roster of Eagle Scouts includes President Gerald Ford, several astronauts and members of Congress, and four Nobel laureates. Eagle Scouts who enlist in the military do so at a higher rank than other recruits.
Becoming an Eagle is no small feat. A Scout must earn at least 21 merit badges related to citizenship, community service, first aid, health and fitness, leadership, personal growth, and other subjects; and complete a service project that the Scout plans and manages. Eagle Scout rank must be achieved by age 18.
Those service projects have a long impact on their communities. Gary Steele planted trees and designed the camping areas at Kitsap Memorial State Park. Darrell blazed trails in Olympic National Park. Garrett built a cement walkway and wheelchair ramp at Kvelstad Pavilion. Grann built a covered walkway to improve pedestrian safety and comfort at Bayside Church; the project required $11,581 in fundraising and working with seven agencies and contractors.
Grann’s mother Cheryl and father Gary were on the stage while Grann was presented his Eagle Scout tribute and both said how proud they were of him, and hugs and a few tears showed it. The last tribute given was not for Grann, however. The Steele family called almost 70 people to the front to thank them with a present and hugs and handshakes, for helping Grann attain his Eagle Scout rank. One of the last speakers turned to Grann and said, “Look at all these people here to support you. Really look at them one at a time.” And Grann took his time and scanned the crowd, all the while smiling. “This is only a small percent of people who believe in you,” the speaker said.
Indeed. As Bayside Church secretary Barbara Brumagin said of Grann in an earlier interview, “He’s so industrious and ingenious. He sees something and finds a way to get it done.”