Third generation Tillotson earns Eagle Scout award

August 3, 2012 ~ Mountain Democrat

By Mike Bush

William Tillotson felt the sign in front of the El Dorado County Search and Rescue site on Fort Jim Road in Placerville needed a touch-up.

The recent El Dorado High School graduate, who was a member of Boy Scout Troop 460 in Pleasant Valley, decided to earn his Eagle Scout badge by rebuilding the worn and aging sign in front of the Search and Rescue site. This also included clearing out overgrown bushes, planting a new flower bed and erecting a flag pole.

He started and completed the project this past spring. Tillotson’s efforts were rewarded last month when he officially left the Boy Scouts with his Eagle Scout rank; per Boy Scout bylaws, a young man leaves the scouts when he turns 18.

A scout master suggested to Tillotson, who joined the Boy Scouts in 2005, to work on the sign and its surroundings. The 18 year-old rounded up some fellow scouts and the project began.

“Originally there was a bunch of bushes here,” said Tillotson, pointing toward the rocks that surround the sign. “The visibility was seriously blocked.”

After clearing out the bushes, Tillotson and volunteers removed the sign.

“It was practically falling apart,” Tillotson said.

Once the sign was down, Tillotson and company sanded down and put a finish touch on the sign. The group prepped the landscape where the sign originally stood, and the pole, and placed the sign and pole back in their respective places.

Tillotson held a fundraiser to purchase materials needed to rebuilt the sign. He raised $300 from a car wash, and had $200 in his scouting bank account. The funds are placed into a scout’s account based on their contributions in raising money for various funds for the Boy Scouts.

“It came out to $500, which suited my budget,” Tillotson said.  ”I’m sure I could have gotten donations, but I didn’t.”

Last month, Tillotson faced a board of scout masters, who interviewed him about his Eagle Scout project before being awarded the coveted badge. He says it’s a “great honor” to earn the Eagle Scout award.

“It’s hard work but it definitely pays off,” Tillotson said.

Tillotson is a third generation Boy Scout. His father, John, and grandfather, Brian, were also scouts and scout masters. According to John, his father who is William’s grandfather and John only reached the rank of Life Scout that is one rank below an Eagle.

Tillotson started in the Cub Scouts at age 9, and worked his way into the Boy Scout rankings that concluded with earning his Eagle Scout award.

Tillotson will be attending Folsom Lake College this month to study political science.

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