Lisa Tetsumi Sydney Kitagawa of Irvine Troop 606 recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan attended Lisa’s Eagle Court of Honor on Aug. 28 and presented a Certificate of Commendation from the Irvine City Council to Lisa on Sept. 14 at City Hall.
Lisa was congratulated on becoming an Eagle Scout in the first year that girls are eligible to become Eagles. Girls were not allowed to join BSA until February 2019. Only 4% of scouts become Eagles.
What is newsworthy is that not only is Lisa among the first year of girl Eagle Scouts, but her achievement completes a triple Eagle Scout family. Two generations — father (James R. Ebert), son (James Zentaro Ebert) and now daughter — are all Eagles.
Lisa loves ocean fishing with her mother, Lisa M. Kitagawa, fishing conservation and science. Her mother shared many memorable fishing trips with Lisa; they led several Irvine Troop 606 Fishing Merit Badge trips together, even during the pandemic. Fishing is therapeutic and essential, and it was fantastic to see the joy of the scouts and parents who experienced actual ocean fishing, not virtual.
Lisa enjoyed working on her Eagle Scout project in support of fishing conservation and science for Pacific Fisheries Enhancement Foundation (PacFish), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Her project was enthusiastically supported by the Hubbs-Seaworld Research Institute, Coastal Conservation Association of California (CCA-CAL) and the Balboa Angling Club (BAC).
Her Eagle Scout project replaced the screens on 16 fish pen covers for PacFish’s white seabass pens to protect the juvenile fish with microchip tracking in their heads so that they could be released into the ocean and studied by scientists.
PacFish is an integral and key organization in fishing conservation and science. It provides, maintains and supports harbor pens to raise juvenile white sea bass and other species to grow in a natural environment, acclimate to local ocean temperature and salinity, reduce the risk of temperature shock and improve their survival when they are released into the ocean. PacFish raises juvenile white sea bass for several months in their harbor pens, then sport fishing boats and volunteers transport and release them into the ocean to help replenish the dwindling native population.
Lisa was inspired by Stanford University Professor Dr. Barbara Block and toured the Hubbs-Seaworld Research Institute halibut hatchery. She thanks Bob Kurz and Bill Shedd for introducing her to Dr. Block.
Lisa successfully raised $3,400 in donations for her Eagle Scout project. After completion of her project costs, she will donate approximately $1,600 to PacFish.
Irvine Troop 606 (www.troop606.net) welcomed girls to join and gained several experienced scout leaders with daughters who left other troops that restricted or did not allow girls. Despite the pandemic lockdowns, Troop 606 scouts continued to thrive and advanc. Their activities continued, including home camping, virtual meetings, hiking, fishing, bicycling, and other fun activities. Lisa is thankful for the support and leadership of Troop 606.
Troop 606 has almost 200 Eagle Scouts. Generations of scouts include sons and grandsons who have become Eagles. Lisa’s brother is Troop 606 Eagle #100.
Gordon Nylen is one of the founders of Troop 606 and retired scoutmaster. His son Greg Nylen (Eagle #14) became a scoutmaster. Grandson Gram Nylen became Eagle #186.
Thomas Doherty was Troop 606 boys’ scoutmaster and is now the Troop 606 girls’ scoutmaster. His daughter Jenna just became Eagle #196.
Lisa has held several leadership positions with the troop, including patrol leader, girls
troop senior patrol leader, and junior assistant scoutmaster, and has participated in many troop outings, including Lost Valley and Emerald Bay summer camps.
In addition to scouting, Lisa is proud of her Japanese heritage and studies Japanese language, the samurai culture, computer programming, anime, and business. After 7½ years, she earned her black belt in Enshin karate (full contact), taught by Nobuyuki Igarashi Sensei. She passed the Piano Certificate of Merit Level 7 test.
All of her achievements took years of effort, commitment, resilience, dedication, tenacity and perseverance.