Jonathan Hoffman Ellis, 18, has attained the highest advancement award the Boy Scouts of America offers to scouts, the Eagle Scout Award.
Ellis will be recognized at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor Sunday, July 22, 2012 at 3 p.m. at United Presbyterian Church in Newton.
Ellis became active in the scouting program as a Tiger Cub in first grade and continued through fifth grade, earning the Arrow of Light Award before bridging into Boy Scouts and following the footsteps of his older brother, Nick Ellis, to become an Eagle Scout. As a member of Boy Scout Troop 354, sponsored by Woodrow Wilson PTA, Ellis is one of approximately 4 percent of all Boy Scouts who attain the Eagle Rank. Troop 354 is lead by Scoutmaster Matt Rogahn.
Each Eagle candidate must earn 21 merit badges and successfully complete a service project to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Ellis' project was a renovation of the Newton Salvation Army Thrift Store. Ellis lead scouts installing new clothing racks, building a clothing sorting table, and refurbishing the checkout counter, donating over 200 service hours with the help of Troop 354 scouts and leaders.
Ellis earned 23 merit badges on his Eagle Journey and served as High Adventure Patrol Leader, Swimming Requirements Instructor and Senior Patrol Leader. He is a member of the Order of the Arrow Brotherhood. He has spent a total of 43 nights camping and earned 177 polar bear points camping outside with temperatures below freezing. Ellis has volunteered over 80 service hours through the Boy Scouts of America. He served as Patrol Leader in a Boy Scout High Adventure Trip, canoeing in the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota.
Ellis is a member of the United Presbyterian Church where he has participated in experiencing homelessness sleep out nights, rang bells for the Salvation Army, provides summer lawn care, and delivers congregate meals with his family. He is a 2012 Newton Senior High School Class Valedictorian, Newton Cardinal All Academic Team Member, Newton Cardinal Over 30 Club (ACT Test Scores), National Honor Society Member, 2011 Homecoming King and a 2012 Iowa Governor's Scholar Award Recipient. In high school, he participated in the math and science bowls, IT club, ping-pong guild, drama, cross-country, and soccer. He has held jobs as a Newton Daily News Carrier for five years, Newton YMCA lifeguard, NASA referee, Yeager Heating and Cooling shop hand and currently is employed by Hy-Vee as courtesy/night stock and tutors Mandarin Chinese classes.
Prior to high school he was selected to participate in the University of Iowa's Belin-Blank Asian and Pacific Summer Studies Institute which sparked his interest in international travel. Ellis spent his junior year abroad as a Rotary International Youth Exchange Student at the National Sha-Lu Vocational Senior High School in Taiwan. In Taiwan, he participated in Sha-Lu kung fu and volunteer clubs, Hoo-Rah Bicycling Team and Long Jing Swim Team. He participated in the Rotary District 3460 Year End Conference as a Mandarin Chinese Free Speaking Competition Winner. He received Rotary Youth Leadership Awards in 2010 / 2011 and continues his involvement with Rotary International as a Rotex Outbound Youth Advisor.
Ellis will attend Iowa State University in the fall to major in Chemical Engineering and Chinese. He is the son of Paul and Kathy Ellis of Newton. Grandparents are Jim and Beth Ellis of Unionville and the late Bill and Joan Hoffman of Centerville.