Harold Martin Kast was born in Leiden, The Netherlands on June 2, 1995 the third child of Sylvia and Martin Kast. He moved with his parents to Chicago, Ill. in 1996 and to La Cañada in 2003. In Chicago he attended Gower West Elementary school but also the Tul(i)p, The First Dutch Language School in Chicagoland that his father founded.
In La Cañada he attended Paradise Canyon Elementary school but also the Dutch School Los Angeles that again his father had helped start. Being bilingual helped Harold earn his BSA Dutch Interpreter patch and a merit badge in American Cultures.
He joined the Pack 519 Webelos in 2004 and earned his Arrow of Light before joining JPJ Troop 509 in 2006. As a Boy Scout, Harold served as patrol leader, troop guide and assistant senior patrol leader. He participated in many Troop outings, BSA events, Troop member Eagle Leadership Service Projects as well in the Girl Scout of America Gold Award Projects of his sisters.
His most memorable attendances were the four Camp Cherry Valley summer camps; the Kern River whitewater rafting trip; the three Joshua Tree National Park camping trips; the two Bear Mountain ski trips; the Little Jimmy backpack trip; the USS Midway trip; the Lake Arrowhead water-ski trip; the Havasupai backpack trip; and especially the 24 Camp Trask campouts. Harold has been asked to serve at Camp Trask many times as a counselor in training. In total he recorded 73 camping nights on these trips. The Merit Badges he enjoyed earning the most on these outings were small boat sailing, snow sports, water sports, whitewater and wilderness survival.
Harold is currently a sophomore at La Cañada High School where he is active in baseball, men’s ensemble and theater. He has been the assistant manager for the varsity baseball team, volunteered many hours in the LCHS library, has performed with the Men’s Ensemble and played lead roles in several school plays. Harold also earned his first movie credit that is listed on IMDB. All these activities resulted in various merit badges, including athletics, cinematography, personal fitness, reading, scholarships, sports and theater. Academically he performed well resulting in a LCHS Scientist of the Quarter award in 2009 in Earth Sciences.
For his Eagle Leadership Service Project Harold and his fellow Scouts, friends and family built award platforms for the Special Olympics. They spent 200 hours to complete this project. These award platforms will be used for many years to come to honor the mentally handicapped athletes who compete.
Harold started his own business in recycling and creating jewelry from recycled material to finance this
project resulting in merit badges in disability awareness, American business and entrepreneurship.
Obtaining the merit badges has played a major role in Harold’s Scouting career. He currently has 113 of the 125 regular and four historical BSA merit badges available, including rare merit badges like farm mechanics, which is no longer available. The Merit Badge system has taught Harold many skills and insights in numerous professions.
Harold is grateful to the dedication of the leaders of JPL Troop 509, his fellow Scouts, his mom, dad and sisters as well as the countless numbers of BSA merit badge counselors for helping him on his trail to Eagle.