Eagle Scout helps out Habitat

Published 11:08 pm Saturday, January 16, 2010

SOUTH POINT — It may look like a simple storage shed, the kind you see in backyards everywhere. But for Jake Cogan building that shed gave him some valuable lessons about leadership.

Cogan, 16, and a junior at South Point High, chose for his Eagle Scout project to build an 8 by 10 foot storage shed to help out the crews at Habitat for Humanity in Huntington, W.Va.

“They said we really need help building outbuildings so our crews could head over to other houses,” Cogan said.

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So his fellow Scouts from Troop 115 pitched in to help, putting in four days to do the job at Olive Street in Huntington.

“We built it from scratch. Most of the boys in the Troop came out to help,” said Cogan, son of Mary and Carlton Cogan.

And during those four days, Cogan learned what it takes to lead others, he said.

“It is not going in and telling people what to do,” he said. “That is not how you do it. You have to adjust and see what each person’s skills are and adjust to that and see how they can be more useful.”

Eleven years ago Cogan joined the Scout Troop that meets at the South Point United Methodist Church and now has reached the highest rank in Scouting. He believes his dedication to the program has put him in a position where he can best serve his community.

“The community sees you as a higher person,” Cogan said about Scouting. “They will be able to ask you if they need your help. They feel they can trust you.”

This was the 69th house Habitat volunteers have built in the Huntington area and Teddy Kluemper III, director of development, sees the Scouts’ work as a major contribution.

“Anytime we can involve the youth of the community in our projects it is a win-win,” he said. “Jake is a bright young man who I no doubt believe will go far in life. The fact that he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout is not something everyone can do.”