According to Lord Baden Powell, founder of the modern day Scouting movement, “The real way to gain happiness is to give it to others.” Service to community and others is a cornerstone of Boy Scouting, and this week one Honokaa High School senior received accolades for his accomplishments.
Makana Loo, son of Rocky and Anna Loo, has been awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in Boy Scouts. Loo, 18, is a member of Troop 18, which is sponsored by the Church of Latter Day Saints in Honokaa.
The final step in becoming an Eagle Scout was his community service project, and Loo chose a renovation of the lobby and entrance area of Hale Ho’ola Hamakua, originally known as Honokaa Hospital, under the supervision of Duane Uyetake of HHH’s Maintenance Department.
“For my project we painted the inside of the entrance room and repainted the outside parking lot lines,” said Loo. “We built a cabinet behind the desk from scratch. Overall I think it made the facility look cleaner and better for people who come to visit the hospital. Duane helped me organize everything and my church members, scout troop, friends and family came out to help as well.”
Loo said he chose to upgrade and enhance the facility’s lobby in an effort to make it a more enjoyable experience for visitors and residents. He and his team of supporters spent many hours preparing and installing cabinetry, and painting on-site in order to bring the outdated lobby back to life with a fresh, clean appeal. Home Depot donated the supplies for the entry drive line re-painting.
“The ambiance of the entry has been enhanced for visitors and residents,” said Therese Glowania, human resources management specialist at HHH. “It enhances the sense of place. This is both a residential facility for long term residents as well as a critical access hospital. For anyone coming in from the community, it creates a good sense of place.”
Attaining the Eagle rank is often the end goal of many scouts and their parents. It looks good on a resume and shows commitment and dedication to a program over an extended period of time. And although the Eagle rank is a major advancement milestone, it’s the journey through scouting that is the most significantly life-changing.
The Baylor University study found that boys who achieved the level of Eagle Scout were significantly more likely to share a greater belief in service to others, service to the community and leadership, engage in behaviors that are designed to enhance and protect the environment, show higher levels of planning and preparedness, and show character traits related to work ethics, morality, tolerance and respect for diversity.
Residents, staff, and visitors to HHH would agree, and thanks to Loo’s desire to make a contribution to his community, they are now greeted by the increased warmth and beauty of the hospital’s new renovated lobby.
“An Eagle Scouts should be a hard-working, determined person, and a good leader,” said Loo. “I learned how to organize projects and how to deal with other people and help them get the job done. For example, we had three different jobs going on at the same time and I had to separate people by their talents — like who was good with paint and who was good with wood.”
When asked what contributions Boy Scouts has made to his life, Loo replied, “Boy Scouts has taught me things that will help me in the future. I’m going to college soon and it’s going to help me with my time management and organizational skills, being a leader, and just being a better person in general.”