The percentage of Boy Scouts who become Eagle Scouts is small. So when seven young men who started their Scouting career together in elementary school all become Eagle Scouts, it is unusual, and we take notice.
On December 1, 2014, Northern Star Council’s Troop 9226, chartered to Memorial Lutheran Church in Afton, Minnesota, honored Kyle Badger, Sam Horning, Adam Johnson, Ben McConnell, Craige McConnell, Noah Ruh, and Max Weiss for achieving the Eagle Scout rank.
All seven Eagles are members of the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s national honor society, and are seniors at Stillwater Area High School in Afton.
- Kyle Badger has earned a Bronze, Gold, and Silver Palm since becoming an Eagle Scout. A member of his high school concert orchestra, he is also co-captain of the school’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team and received his varsity letter in soccer. Badger has been accepted to Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, where he plans to study computer software engineering.
- Sam Horning has earned a Bronze Palm since becoming an Eagle Scout. He will be starting his college career at Century College in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. He wants to become a commercial airline pilot.
- Adam Johnson has completed the BSA National Youth Leadership Training. He received his varsity letter in mountain biking. Johnson has been accepted at both Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, and the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, and has been offered scholarships to attend these institutions. He plans to attend Iowa State University to study chemical engineering.
- Ben McConnell has earned a Bronze, Gold, and Silver Palm since becoming an Eagle Scout. He currently plays violin in Stillwater Area High School’s concert orchestra. He is also on the school’s track and JV soccer teams. McConnell plans to join the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
- Craige McConnell has earned a Bronze, Gold, and Silver Palm since becoming an Eagle Scout. He too plays violin in concert orchestra and is on the track and the JV soccer teams. Craige has not yet decided where he wants to attend college, but he plans to go in the medical field.
- Noah Ruh also plays violin in the concert orchestra and is on the track and JV soccer teams. He is a semi-finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program, awaiting finalist status. Semi-finalists are the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represent the top 0.5 percent of the state’s senior students. Ruh has applied to the U.S. Naval Academy and colleges offering engineering programs. He plans on pursuing an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and has not yet decided which college he will attend.
- Max Weiss has earned a Bronze Palm since becoming an Eagle Scout. He is on Stillwater Area High School’s throwing team. Max plans to attend Inver Hills Community College in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. He is interested in either working in the Department of Natural Resources or becoming a landscape architect.
To become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank a Scout can earn, a Scout must earn 21 merit badges—13 of which are required—and plan, develop, and give leadership to an Eagle Scout service project. A Scout can earn more merit badges to receive Eagle Palms—Bronze, Gold, and Silver. However, Palms are not considered ranks, so a Scout’s decision to earn badges beyond the number required for the Eagle Scout rank is his choice.
Together, the seven Eagle Scouts have contributed more than 1,200 service hours to their community through their Eagle Scout projects. Kyle Badger designed and built a rain garden for Afton-Lakeland Elementary School. Ben McConnell implemented the first Lego League program for Andersen Elementary School in Bayport. Craige McConnell designed and built a set of stairs on the hillside at Memorial Lutheran Church in Afton. Adam Johnson built and installed informational trail signs at Afton State Park. Sam Horning planted trees throughout the city of Lake St. Croix Beach. Noah Ruh cleared trees and brush to create a clear sight line along a section of the bike trail connecting the cities of Lakeland and Afton. Max Weiss’s project landscaped a hillside for Fairview Cemetery in Stillwater.