Friends, family congratulate new Eagle Scout with a surprise parade

Waving American flags, holding up congratulatory signs and honking, drivers filed past Blake Kenney’s home, honoring the new Eagle Scout. The 15-year-old of Troop 908 in Pleasanton, Calif., watched the parade of cars, filled with family members, friends, teachers, coaches and Scouting families.

Dressed in his field uniform, Blake was in the front yard as photographer Rebecca Harper snapped photos to add to an Eagle Scout display at the San Francisco Bay Area Council office in San Leandro. His court of honor — originally scheduled for that day — had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His parents secretly put out a call for a parade to coincide with the photo shoot.

“The response was amazing,” Blake’s mother Julie says. “So many, many cars drove by, all decorated with signs and flags. It was a memory we will all never forget. We heard many people had tears of joy as they were driving by.”

Not only did drivers roll by, but neighbors stood in their yards, waving flags and cheering. Some set up yard signs to congratulate Blake.

“It was the happiest day of my life,” Blake says. “I was so surprised to see everyone coming out to celebrate my Eagle Scout during this unprecedented time.”

Watch the parade here (have some tissues close by):

Road to Eagle

Blake became a Cub Scout in 2010, received the Arrow of Light award and joined Troop 908. He served as a den chief twice for his former Cub Scout unit, Pack 910. He went on a high-adventure trek at Florida Sea Base a couple of years ago.

For his Eagle Scout project, Blake collected about 360 children’s books and just under $500 for the Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare Charitable Foundation for young hospital patients and visitors to read. Members from the foundation also attended the parade.

Not everyone was able to attend Blake’s surprise parade, so he plans to have his court of honor when things start getting back to normal.

“I hopefully will still have my official Eagle Scout court of honor ceremony soon,” Blake says. “A lot of my out-of-town family members were not able to make it, including my grandparents due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I really want them to see this special day as they both were such a big part of my Eagle journey.”

About Michael Freeman 446 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is an associate editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines.