Scouts work to obtain Eagle Scout rank before aging out

Senior Alexander Arnone, a member of Troop 61, presents his Eagle Scout project to younger scouts. Students working on their Eagle Scout have to delegate work to younger scouts and others who help them complete their projects. “To see my younger scouts take part in a project I planned for more than year…was pretty rewarding,” Arnone said. “[It’s] why I chose the project and make them understand why they’re helping out.

Megan Drumm

Senior Alexander Arnone, a member of Troop 61, presents his Eagle Scout project to younger scouts. Students working on their Eagle Scout have to delegate work to younger scouts and others who help them complete their projects. “To see my younger scouts take part in a project I planned for more than year…was pretty rewarding,” Arnone said. “[It’s] why I chose the project and make them understand why they’re helping out.

By Megan Drumm, Staff Writer

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Anderson gave back to the bats by creating houses for them at a campground.

The project helped Anderson earn his Eagle Scout — making him among just 4 percent of scouts who complete the Boy Scout’s highest honor. He is joined by at least seven other LHS students combining work, dedication and leadership in order to earn the rank.

“I wanted to learn things that I couldn’t learn at home,” said senior Alexander Arnone, explaining why he joined Boy Scouts, “and to experience different things that I couldn’t with my family or friends, and I felt like the program would offer that.”

Senior Jack Anderson joined Cub Scouts because of his dad, who also was an Eagle Scout.

“I had respected him so much for that,” Anderson said. “I didn’t know how hard it would be for me to get to where those guys were when I was just beginning Boy Scouts.”

It takes a dedicated person to finish everything required to achieving the Eagle Scout ranking. Eagle Scouts must accumulate at least 21 merit badges, hold a leadership position for a minimum of six months, and finally propose and carry out an Eagle Service Project.

“It’s just kind of about being an Eagle Scout shows that not only were you able to work hard,” Anderson explains, “ but that you were able to work hard for an extended period of time”

Once scouts turn 18, they are unable to achieve the Eagle Scout ranking.

“I’m a part of a group called the ‘neck high in water’ group,” Arnone said, “where they just finish their Eagle before they turn 18, because that’s where it caps out. I’m a part of the group that just barely finishes it.”

The idea behind the Eagle Scout Service project is to give back to the community.

“It is the culmination of years of hard work and hours upon hours of time dedicated to scouting,” senior Luke Thonen said, “as well as having the knowledge that your eagle project in someway benefited the community.”

LHS scouts are finding a variety of ways to help the community. While Anderson created houses for bats, Arnone created care packages for veterans.

Arnone said his main job after choosing a service project was to delegate tasks and find volunteers willing to help donate their time.

“It’s the delegating part which I found really challenging,” Arnone said. “To rally up these crazy little kids and that was the really challenging aspect of it.”

Thonen created food dispensers for the Lawrence Humane Society for his project, while junior Colton Khatib is planning a project for the Oak Hill Cemetery.

Khatib said he has matured through his scouting experience.

“I love the structure and role of scouting and being able to do incredible tasks with a bunch of boys and have fun,” he said.

Likewise, Anderson learned patience when implementing his Eagle Scout project.

“I learned that you have to be really patient with people sometimes because I’d have things ready,” Anderson said, “I would try contact adults and it would take them a while to respond and I’d just kind of be like, ‘Dude, come on.’ You have to know that some people aren’t going to be as passionate about what you’re doing as you are.”

Arnone plans to stay involved with his troop as much as he can, even after he completes his Eagle Scout.

“I’d love to be a leader, to coach those younger guys,” Arnone said. “As a young leader, I feel like I could really connect with them if they don’t connect with the older leaders. Pushing the kids through the ranks then hopefully getting to say that I have a couple of Eagles that I got, so that would be rewarding.”