Four Fulton High School students took their Boy Scouts motto to "Be Prepared" to heart by being prepared to put in the necessary hours and effort their service projects demanded. The scouts each had to complete a community service project to earn the Eagle Scout status.
"They all did a great job. They picked out projects that benefited their interest in the community," said Tom Fox, Fulton Troop 50 scoutmaster.
Brenden Hodges, 14, said he's always been a big hunter so he asked a conservation agent at Little Dixie Conservation Area in Millersburg how he could help out. The agent gave him plans for a footbridge that needed to be built. It took Hodges more than four months to complete, but he had a 5 foot by 38 foot bridge to show for his work, not to mention he made Eagle Scout.
"I've finally achieved my goal, seems like everything I've done paid off," he said.
Michael Miller, 16, built steps from the Millersburg Preschool study area down to Cedar Creek. Miller said he went to the preschool and remembered how difficult it was to access the creek.
"It needed a good set of concrete steps," he said.
So Miller provided them and became an Eagle Scout, just like his grandpa.
"It's a great honor to be an Eagle Scout," he said.
Scott Strough, 16, earned Eagle rank by cleaning and repairing bridges on the Shoreline Trail at Little Dixie Conservation Area. Strough said the rank will help out with college and careers.
"To me, it was a sense of accomplishment, because I knew it would open up doors for my future opportunities," Strough said.
Keegan Stone, 15, replaced 108 headstones at Fulton State Hospital Cemetery by making molds and pouring concrete to fill them. He also planted five memorial trees at the cemetery.
"It really shows how much you can accomplish if you set your mind to something," Stone said.
Hodges received the rank in December, Miller and Stone in November, and Strough in October.
Fox said each scout put in a minimum of 60 hours to attain the Eagle rank, and the work builds self-confidence, self-esteem and leadership skills. He added that each scout has to earn 21 merit badges, move up from six ranks and complete a community service project to earn the honor.
But it's not all work.
Strough said he enjoys the friendships he's made in Boy Scouts and all the camping trips. Stone and Hodges agree that camping is one of the best things about being a scout. Stone adds that he's learned knot-tying, shooting and archery skills.
Miller said even though he's reached the highest rank of Boy Scouts, he has no plans of leaving anytime soon. He said he hopes to help other scouts succeed and encourage them to also become Eagle Scouts.
"I want to kind of return what the Boy Scouts has given to me," Miller explains.