Nine young men in Perkins Township are defying the odds.
For every 100 Boy Scouts, only two achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. But this year in the Perkins school system, nine will achieve the honorary designation.
The boys put nearly 1,000 hours of planning and work into projects benefiting the community and instilling the intrinsic value of helping others.
Tom Hall, Firelands district executive, is responsible for ensuring the 1,863 boys served by scouting in Erie and Huron counties have a quality experience.
But that experience doesn't always include the achievement of an Eagle Scout.
Hall said programming is varied -- ranging from traditional scouting to career exploring programs for boys interested in medicine or firefighting. Locally there is even a ship troop on Lake Erie.
It's not one thing or another about the scouting experience that motivates a young man to aspire achieving the rank of eagle, he said.
"It's a combination of things: leadership is key, quality programs are key, but the initiative of the young man is the most important," Hall said. "They are mentored of course, but it's the responsibility of the boy to achieve."
And achieve they have in Perkins.
From having a concrete floor laid an a gazebo constructed on the grounds of the Ohio Veterans Home to building a covered seating area near the Huron River canoe launch at Erie Metroparks Coupling Park.
"Each boy planned, managed, fundraised and completed his own project," said Dave Fox, scout master for St. Mary's Troop 7.
Hall said the health of the Firelands program is good, as is evident by this group of highly motivated boys.
"I worked in human resources for years and I can say I noticed Eagle Scouts on resumes," he said. They always got a second look from me because I know what it takes to achieve that."
Criteria for achieving Eagle Scout:
The project a scout chooses must be of significant value to the community outside of scouting. The scout must provide leadership to others during the project (the project idea does not have to be original, but the scout must be in charge; and two people cannot lead the same project). A scout must do a preliminary plan, showing what you will do, who it will benefit, materials needed, costs, number of people involved, among other items.
The scout must then get necessary donations of materials and volunteers and keep a detailed log of work completed and write up their project and complete an Eagle application.
For every 100 scouts:
* Two will become Eagle Scouts
* One will enter the clergy
* Eighteen will develop a lifelong hobby learned in scouting
* Eight will choose a job learned through a merit badge system
* One will use his scouting skills to save his own life; another will use his skills to save someone else's life.
* Seventy-two percent of Rhodes Scholars and 85 percent of FBI agents were scouts.
Troop 7 scouts:
* Danny Ahner: Designed, built, and installed six benches for Erie MetroParks. The benches were installed in various parks in the area.
* Russell Boos: Built three benches for the Sandusky Post Office, which are in the post office lobby. He also cleaned, planted flowers and landscaped the flag pole area at the post office.
* Scotty Davis: Installed a concrete floor and assembled a large gazebo on the grounds of the Ohio Veterans Home.
* Colin Faber: Landscaped and planted shrubs in the three "Priest Circles" at the three Catholic Cemeteries in Sandusky.
* Tim Smith: Designed and built a covered sitting area for Erie Metroparks. It is located at The Coupling park at the canoe launching area on the Huron River.
Troop 8 scouts:
* Andrew Bickell: Built and placed five benches for the Erie Metro Parks.
* Josh Lowe: Painted the walls and floor area at Care and Share to help make it safer and more presentable to the public.
* Matt Stevens: Constructed an orphan wildlife habitat and rehabilitation area at Back to the Wild, a wildlife rehabilitation and nature education center in Castalia.
* Mark Ziegler: Refurbished a song bird cage into a bird of prey cage at Back to the Wild.