Local Eagle Scouts soar despite pandemic, honored Saturday

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WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, five teen boys reaching a major milestone Saturday, reaching the highest honor in Boy Scouts.

Five central Illinois teens were officially recognized as Eagle Scouts Saturday at Washington Middle School. Brayden Spayer, of Ottawa said it’s a process that takes a lot of work.

“It’s a long process, but it’s rewarding,” Spayer said.

The boys completed their boards of review which honors their years of hard work. Ean Kells said he’s dreamed of this day from the very beginning of his scouts days.

“I’ve been in scouting for 10 years, ever since first grade, tiger (scout),” Kells said. “I worked my whole way up.”

Since 1912, over 2.5 million people have earned the rank of Eagle Scout, earning badges and completing a community service project. Jon Selden said his project is just a fraction of the work.

“There was a lot of work that went into this, my Eagle project alone was months of work,” Selden said. “I had to plan it, get donations and do it.”

Aiden Wright, another newly honored Eagle Scout said he enjpyed the project because he helped a local church.

“It was a lot of hard work and a lot of fun work at times. It was very rewarding,” Wright said.

Despite a global pandemic, these new Eagle Scouts can soar. Wright and Spayer said they are glad to have this positive in a year of negatives.

“This little bit is very nice to have in consideration of not much else,” Wright said.

“It’s very great that I could do this because I was just about to get my project approved and COVID happened,” Spayer said.

All boys said they learned life lessons throughout their experience in Boy Scouts that they can carry throughout life.

“I learned a lot about perseverance and leadership,” Selden said.

“I learned that things don’t always go according to plan. Never hope for one thing to happen the way you want it,” Kells said.

Scout leaders said this event is usually held individually, but due to the pandemic this was the first time all five scouts had their reviews on the same day.

Only four percent of all Boy Scouts have gone on to become Eagle Scouts. Some notable Eagle Scouts include WalMart founder Sam Walton, actor Zach Galifianakis, director Steven Spielberg and even President Gerald Ford.

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