Boy Scouts of America member James Bondesen officially received his Eagle Scout rank earlier this spring.
“It has a special meaning and it is a special achievement since you know that few Scouts ever reach this level. I look back and realize the time and hard work it took to get this, and it was worth it,” said Bondesen, a senior at Lennox High School.
To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, a Scout must earn 21 merit badges as they progress through the advancement process. Of the 21 badges, 14 must come from a special list of Eagle-required merit badges and the rest from remaining 137 merit badges available.
Less than 2 percent of the Scouts that start in the program reach the level of Eagle Scout. They need to implement the merit badge at troop functions. Scouts learn to become confident and self-sufficient as they grow through the ranks to an Eagle Scout.
As a Boy Scout, he learned a lot about being a leader, working as a team and respect. Scouts taught him to be self-sufficient and to expand his experiences.
“I have learned to be a leader, take responsibility for myself and others,” he said.
His Scout leaders have had a big influence on his life.
“Each leader has challenged me to do my best and grow into leadership roles, taught me things I did not know through the merit badge process. Most of all they showed me respect and acknowledge my accomplishments,” he said.
Troop 109 leaders Curtis Smith, Andrea Ruud, Ryan Renz, Brian Kruid and Scott Ford were also recognized for the service to the troop. They each received a plaque with their name and the inscription: “In Sincere Appreciation from Troop 109 of your Commitment and Contribution in Scouting.”
Bondesen’s father, Jeff, appreciates all of the work and impact these leaders they have had on his son and many other Scouts who have gone through the program.
“It takes a tremendous number of hours maintaining the Scouts records of advancement, planning camping trips, education trips as well as Scout meetings and preparations for awards meetings,” Jeff said.
These leaders have taken the time to be leaders and teach life skills to young people.
“Through their leadership it has taught these Scouts responsibility, respect, dedication, teamwork and over the years, it is great to see these young Scouts grown into mature, responsible young adults,” Jeff said.