Smith Brothers Restaurants
HomePublicationPasadenaEagle Scout’s Project Nominated for National Honor

Eagle Scout’s Project Nominated for National Honor

First published in the Dec. 30 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.

Ford Mueller, an Eagle Scout from San Marino Troop 355, assisted the University of California Santa Barbara Department of Anthropology in their search for Jack Cantin, a 17-year-old Eagle Scout who has been missing since the 2017 Montecito mudslide.
Mueller, a Pasadena resident and senior at St. Francis High School in La Cañada, achieved his Eagle Scout in December 2021 and has been nominated for The Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award. Prior to St. Francis, he attended Chandler School and St. James Preschool in South Pasadena.

Photo courtesy Mueller family
Eagle Scout Ford Mueller (third from left) with current and former Boy Scout leadership members (from left) Greg Geraci, Ed Morelan, Michael Reiling, Chris Bengford and Matthew Hess.

Working with the department head, Danielle Kurin, and anthropology graduate student Nikki Torno, Mueller organized a project that included mapping and implementation of the department’s new forensic search techniques for detecting the essence, or DNA, of victims in the area’s creek bed. He organized volunteers and built wooden screened sieves used in the ongoing recovery of artifacts associated with Cantin.  
During the pandemic and at-home learning in Santa Barbara County, a news story about the UCSB Department of Anthropology getting involved in the search for two remaining victims of the 2017 Montecito mudslide tragedy caught Mueller’s attention. He was inspired to contact Kurin upon learning about the Cantin family’s tragic loss: That Jack Cantin’s Scout leader father Dave Cantin’s body had been recovered, but Jack’s body was still missing. 

Photo courtesy Claire Glidden
Pasadena resident Ford Mueller spent time with UC Santa Barbara department head Danielle Kurin on his Eagle Scout Service Project.

For several summers, Mueller participated in the Santa Barbara Presidio Archeology Camp working alongside archeologists, professors and graduate students at the El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park, excavating a portion of the original fort. Through this hands-on experience, Mueller had acquired skills of basic excavation techniques, artifact processing methods, artifact identification, archeological drawing and mapping. 
Kurin eagerly received Mueller’s proposal of assistance at a time when student volunteers had not returned to campus because of COVID-related closures. Mueller is appreciative of Kurin’s mentorship, to have played a part in a sense of closure for the community of Montecito and, especially, for Jack’s mother, Kim Cantin, who contacted Mueller personally to thank him for honoring her son with his Eagle Scout project.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=3]