By Michelle Miller
The Daily Star
---- — A Milford teen said it was his mother’s idea to sign him up for Cub Scouts at age 5, but he’s glad he stuck with it.
Max Lang, 14, has since moved up the Boy Scouting ranks and earned his Eagle Scout badge.
Eagle Scout is the highest advancement rank attainable in the Boy Scout program of the Boy Scouts of America.
The title of “Eagle Scout” is held for life, thus giving rise to the phrase “Once an Eagle, always an Eagle.”
Lang, who is a member of Troop 31 in Milford, said his continuous dedication to the Scouts has given him a sense of accomplishment.
“I had a lot of people who were with me in Cub Scouts drop out. I am glad I didn’t do that. I was able to persevere and achieve the highest rank,” he said.
To become an Eagle Scout one must progress through the ranks in the following order: Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and then Eagle. Then 21 merit badges must be earned. Other requirements include serving six months in a troop leadership position, planning, developing and giving leadership to a service project for any religious organization or any school or community, taking part in a Scoutmaster conference and successfully completing an Eagle Scout board review.
Lang’s Scoutmaster, Harold Ashe, said less than 2 percent of Boy Scouts go on to become Eagle Scouts.
“For him, this is quite an accomplishment,” he said. “He has shown leadership and organizational skills and had to lead a bunch of boys in order to get the project done and he got it done in timely manner. He met all the requirements and did a nice job in doing so.”
Lang’s leadership service project can be found in Milford’s Wilber Park. He raised money, organized and oversaw the construction of a blue rock flat stone patio with a raised stone flower bed with roses, two benches, four flowering trees and a twisted hibiscus. He said he also built a bike rack.
The Milford Central School student admits that he did not come up with the idea all on his own. He said the town supervisor played a big role with coming up with suggestions.
“I hope it provides people with an area to sit, where they can enjoy a baseball or tennis game,” Lang said. “I feel a lot of people use the park. I know there are always people down there on the playground, playing tennis or playing baseball or basketball,” he added.
According to Lang, labor for the project took about a week. However, he said there was a lot of paperwork and organizing that went into it.
He said he is required to do all the organization and logistics of the project on his own, but could get volunteers to help with the construction.
“My troop was very helpful,” he said.
Lang said he learned what really goes into building something.
“When you see something that has been built often you say, ‘oh that’s easy I could do that,’ but it’s really not. It really takes a lot more work than you would think.”