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Tue, May 26

GC teen reaches<br>Eagle Scout rank

GC VILLAGE — For the first time in 15 years, Grand Canyon has an Eagle Scout in its midst.

Andrew Keske, a 16-year-old sophomore at Grand Canyon High School, was honored Thursday evening in a special ceremony at the Thunderbird Lodge for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.

The proud parents and sister of Andrew Keske pose for a photo Thursday night before his Eagle Scout ceremony. From left, Allen (back), Emma, Andrew and Kathy Keske.

Keske was recognized in the Scouts' Court of Honor. The program included a posting of the colors by members of Troop 30, talks and presentation of awards, and recognition of Keske's achievements leading to the Eagle Scout rank.

Keske, who has lived at Grand Canyon since he was born in 1985, said he was honored to reach this point.

When asked what he's liked best about his experiences in Boy Scouts, he said "I've met a lot of different people through scouting."

Keske said he's enjoyed making his way up through the various skill levels in the Boy Scouts. One of his favorite activities is camping.

Reaching the rank of Eagle Scout is not easy. In fact, the candidate must oversee a considerable project. For Keske, that project was the construction of a handicap-accessible ramp for the community sport court at Grand Canyon School.

"I organized the project with the Park Service and the school," Keske said about his project. "A concrete company out of Phoenix came up and I had assistance from John Hill and Bill Dennis."

The project required the review and approval of the Grand Canyon Unified School District and the National Park Service, an effort Keske said took nearly two years to accomplish.

Keske enjoys school and is a good student, learning best through visual, hands-on techniques. As a result, scouting seems like a natural.

Keske also excels at computers and "all things electronic." He enjoys outdoor activities of all kinds but particularly likes to camp and hike in the Canyon.

Keske has been to the bottom of the Canyon from both rims and has hiked from rim to rim. Keske said he likes to help other people learn to do the activities he enjoys most.

In fact, Keske wants to remain involved with the Boy Scouts in the future. He will remain active in Troop 30 until he finishes high school and is expanding his horizons through the Explorer program sponsored by park rangers.

"I’d like to be a leader," Keske said. "Now, I'm helping out my troop as an assistant to the scout master."

Don Keil serves at the Troop 30 scout master.

Keske is the son of Allen and Kathy Keske. His father works for the NPS and his mother is the culinary arts teacher at Grand Canyon School. He also has a younger sister in middle school and an older sister in college.

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