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Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

Seniors Ashwin Goel and Vish Satuloori Lead Irvine Troop 622

What makes a Boy Scout?

The prototypical Boy Scout that comes to mind cleans beaches, ties knots and starts fire from sticks. But Ashwin Goel and Vish Satuloori, both senior patrol leaders (SPLs) for Irvine Troop 622 and seniors, reveal that scouting is rooted in much more than just nurturing practical survival skills. 

In actuality, it is a far-reaching yet close-knit community — what Satuloori describes as “one large family.” After all, the saying goes “once a scout, always a scout,” with Troop 622 embodying this sentiment best of all local troops, according to Goel and Satuloori.

From Goel’s humble beginnings in 2018 and Satuloori’s in 2017, the duo joined Troop 622 through mutual contacts, advancing from Scout rank to the coveted Eagle Scout rank this year. As elected SPLs and holding more than 80 combined merit badges to their names, Goel and Satuloori are expected to make distinctive contributions.

“The most important part of being an SPL or ASPL (Assistant SPL) is coming to trips and also being a good role model for scouts,” Satuloori said. “You have to sacrifice a lot of [fun] to get things running — you have to pack up; you have to clean up.”

Though laborious tasks and tiring drives are the brunt of any scouting activity, the adventures that follow them have all been worthwhile. Their trips to the Sierra Nevadas, Mammoth Mountain and Lake Powell are the most memorable, according to Goel and Satuloori.

“Sierras is a seven-day backpack in the middle of the Sierra Nevadas,” Goel said. “It’s so cool — there’s views you’ve never seen, and then you look on a map, and you’re like, ‘the place I’m at right now isn’t even on the map.’ There’s no cell service, too.”

Of course, these trips would not be possible without adult leadership, such as the scoutmaster, who provides guidance and direction to the troop. Any passionate and audacious adult, such as Troop 622’s scoutmaster, Dave Aleshire, play monumental roles in developing young talent. 

“I still don’t know why he does scouting — like he wastes so much time with us,” Satuloori said. “It’s crazy that he has a boat and a jet ski in two houses. We can use a lot of his stuff, and he’s ridiculously generous with it. He teaches you everything.”

Consequently, Aleshire’s kind-heartedness and leadership has built a troop that emphasizes familial connections and the spirit of adventure over material rankings, which Goel and Satuloori believe make Troop 622 so remarkable. 

“For Eagle Scout, you have to pass three tests,” Goel said. “You have to get a weekend, and that takes so long. That’s specific to our troop; no other troops do that. I think it goes back to what Vish was saying; in our troop, you’re there to learn and not there to earn your Eagle Scout.”

From their inspiring leadership to venturesome excursions, Goel and Satuloori look back on their experiences with great pride and gratitude. Now, as they graduate from both high school and Troop 622, the familiar sensation of melancholy is unavoidable. 

“I’ll miss the trivial things — those small interactions the most,” Satuloori said. “Like sharing stories in the houseboat commons in Lake Powell and discussing future plans over roasting marshmallows — these things are opportunities I won’t get to relive. I trust, and I know Ashwin does too, that Mr. A and the future SPLs will make Troop 622 better than it ever was.”

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About the Contributor
Michael Sun, Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor
Michael Sun is the assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor and also a part of the business team for his second and final year in Pilot. He likes good Asian food, viewpoint diversity, and indie music.
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