Irons Boy Scouts earn rank of Eagle Scout

IRONS — Four members of Irons' Boy Scout Troop No. 61 have earned the highest achievement in the Boy Scouts of America: the rank of Eagle Scout.

The boys are Austin McIntire, Jesse Holden and James Holden of Brethren High School, and Kodiak Collins of Mason County Eastern. The It can take almost a decade to achieve the title of Eagle Scout, and each scout must do so before they turn 18.

"After you graduate from Cub Scout, you have to take a knot-tying test to crossover to Scout," explained McIntire. "After Scout, you have to earn Tenderfoot first class, Tenderfoot second class, Star, Life and finally Eagle Scout. You have to log so many camping hours, so many hours of community service, demonstrate your knot skills and earn 21 merit badges."

It takes years to put in the work and learn all the requisite knowledge demanded of by the scouts. Troop leader and father to Jesse and James, Jim Holden had a front-row seat to the process and said he couldn't be prouder of his troop.

"I saw all four of them come up," remarked Jim. "It's really amazing to see the changes from when they were 10 or 11 years old and they entered scouts to now when they are 17 or 18 years old. It's great to see how far they've come."

Only 4 percent of kids who join as Cub Scouts continue on all the way to Eagle Scout. These four scouts all said despite the difficulty, they would gladly do it again.

"We stuck with it because of each other and because we all had something to give," said Jesse. "The hardest part is finding the time to stick with it as you get older and start working at a job or playing sports in high school."

"Another reason is how much we are able to do for the community," added McIntire. "We do so much more than just sell popcorn. We participate in Blessing of the Sleds, do roadside cleanup, help with Cowboy Weekend, clean up after the Flea Roast and so much more."

In the end, said Jim, the results speak for themselves. He saw the Boy Scouts help four kids grow into upstanding young men.

"These kids are well-trained individuals who are well-mannered young men who give a lot back to the community," said Jim. "Scouts is a great program and I would love to see more kids take part in what is a really beneficial organization."

The scouts themselves said this is something they can always take pride in, and something which could greatly help them in their future.

"We learned a lot of useful skills, made good friends, and it looks good on a resume," joked Jesse. "It really does help shape you for the rest of your life."