Introducing Our 2024 Scouts of the Year
These young leaders have demonstrated exceptional dedication, leadership, and a commitment to the values of Scouting. Join us in celebrating their accomplishments and get ready to be inspired by the incredible stories of Morgan Willis, Gideon Akaelue, Ryan Martin, Mayzie Richins, Vaughn Grosse, and Ella Miller.
Morgan Willis Scout Of the Year
Morgan Willis has been an avid Scout for nearly a decade. A founding member of BSA Troop 3030 since February 1, 2019, Morgan has achieved a Philmont Trek, multiple Sea Base Out Island Adventures, and the Paul Bunyan Award for Conservation at Camp Geronimo (2022). In troop leadership, she earned the Big G Gold as Senior Patrol Leader (2023) and led Troop 4245 during the 2023 Jamboree female contingent. Trained in Outdoor Ethics and Leave No Trace, Morgan also participated in National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) and National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE). Beyond Scouting, she excels in music, playing violin and double bass for the ASU Strings Project Youth Orchestra, and has academic and JROTC achievements.
Gideon Akaelue Scout of the Year
Gideon Akaelue is a Life Scout and Order of the Arrow member from Troop 653. From his early days as a Cub Scout to his current journey towards Eagle, Gideon embodies the Scout Oath and Law. Serving as Senior Patrol Leader at Camp Geronimo, Gideon displayed exceptional leadership by ensuring troop cleanliness, guiding new Scouts, and securing the coveted Big G Gold award. After his tenure, he willingly took on the role of Troop Guide, demonstrating his commitment to mentoring and providing leadership for new Scouts crossing over. Gideon’s consistent adherence to Scout principles makes him deserving of this award.
Mayzie Richins Scout of the Year
Mayzie Richins embodies servant leadership in Scouting, entering Scouts BSA with the inaugural girl cohort. Swiftly advancing to First Class within 18 months, Mayzie assumed leadership roles, including Senior Patrol Leader (SPL), inspiring her Troop 3050 peers. After her SPL tenure, she graciously took on the roles of Assistant SPL and Scribe, fostering an environment for other Scouts to refine their leadership styles. Attending the Council’s 2021 National Youth Leader Training (NYLT) session proved transformative, inspiring Mayzie to reprise her role as SPL for an additional year. Currently serving as 3050’s Junior Assistant Scoutmaster, she dedicates herself to coaching and teaching fellow Scouts wherever needed. As a diligent Life Scout, Mayzie diligently works towards completing her final Eagle requirements.
Ryan Martin Scout of the Year
Ryan Martin exemplifies Scouting’s mission to cultivate resilient servant leaders, having served in various leadership roles such as Troop Guide, Patrol Leader, ASPL, and SPL. Ryan was pivotal as the lead trainer for Troop Leadership Skills Training (ILST) and volunteered as a module trainer since 2020. His outstanding traits in Scouting include resiliency and unwavering commitment, persistently pursuing positions until he eventually secured every role he desired. As SPL in 2021, Ryan sought further challenges, attending NAYLE in West Virginia and returning as an instructor in 2022. He extended his impact by serving as Assistant Youth Course Leader for NYLT in Germany and, this year, in Japan. Achieving his Eagle rank in 2023, Ryan also led a 9-day Canoe Trip to the Minnesota Boundary Waters. Beyond Scouting, he applies his leadership skills in Basha High School’s JROTC program.
Ella Miller Scout of the Year
Ella Miller, a Life Scout since joining Troop 944 in Baltimore in 2019, seamlessly transitioned to Troop 3015 in Cave Creek after moving to Arizona in 2022. A model Scout, she combines intelligence, maturity, and physical fitness, actively participating in community service and excelling as a recruiter. As Troop 3015’s Senior Patrol Leader, Ella is dedicated to achieving her Eagle Scout rank while juggling responsibilities with school. Known for resourcefulness, financial acumen, and encouraging leadership, she embodies Scout values in and out of uniform, supported by her devoted Scout family.
Vaughn Grosse Scout of the Year
Eagle Scout Vaughn Grosse has ascended to the role of Junior Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 8051 and is a founding member and two-time President of Venturing Crew 8051. Serving as a dedicated recruiter, he actively mentors and leads both units. Vaughn actively participates in coordinating community service opportunities for Scout and Crew engagement. As a high-school senior pursuing the Law & Public Safety Career and Technical Education course, he aspires to become a Firefighter. On October 11th, 2023, Vaughn was notified that the National Court of Honor Committee approved him for the Heroism Award. Nominated for the Heart of Yuma’s Outstanding Youth Leader in 2020 and 2022 and receiving the Gila River District’s Scout of the Year Honorable Mention in March 2023, Vaughn’s dedication surpasses accolades, evident in his continuous and impactful actions.
New Grand Canyon Council BSA 2023 Impact Report is Here!
We’re thrilled to share the Grand Canyon Council BSA 2023 Impact Report with you. This report highlights achievements and milestones demonstrating our dedication to providing impactful Scouting experiences. As we celebrate the accomplishments of 2023, we also look forward to the adventures that lie ahead.