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Proctorville Scout carries on family tradition

 

According to the Boy Scouts of America, only five percent of Boy Scouts earn the coveted Eagle rank; Will Shiner is now in this category.

Will, a 16-year-old junior at Fairland High School, received this honor Saturday at New Hope United Methodist Church in Proctorville.

The Eagle Scout is the highest rank in Boy Scouting, but for Will it is also a family tradition. He is a third-generation Eagle Scout and his great-grandfather also participated in the Boy Scouts, joining in 1913.

“We have a 99-year history with the Boy Scout movement,” Will’s father, Jim Shiner, said about the Shiner family.

Part of the requirement for earning the Eagle rank is to pilot a service project of the scout’s choice. Will chose to build bat boxes for the Wayne National Forest at Lake Vesuvius to provide housing for the forest’s bat population. The project took more than 170 hours between Will and the people working with him.

Will said earning the Eagle Scout ranking comes with a great feeling.

“I’m glad to have accomplished it,” Will said. “I’m thankful for all the help given to me.”

Will’s mother, Vickie Shiner, is pleased with her son’s newest honor.

“I’m the typical proud parent, I guess,” Vickie said. “It’s pretty awesome when your son can achieve something like an Eagle Scout. Not everybody that goes into scouting can do that.”

Jim Shiner is equally proud of Will.

“It’s pretty moving,” Jim said. “Anytime a young man achieves the Eagle rank, it’s indicative that someone displays an unusual display of perseverance.”

The newest honor isn’t the only reason for Jim to be proud of Will. He is proud of the person Will has become.

“He is a somewhat quiet, caring person. He puts the welfare of others ahead of himself. He is a sharp kid, and grasps things fairly quickly,” Jim said. “But it’s his character that stands out. When other people talk about him, they talk about his character and his willingness to help others and to serve.”

 

Will said he would encourage other youth to get involved in the scouting program.

“It’s done a lot of things,” Will said. “I wouldn’t know everything I know now, or be the person I am now without scouts. It’s done a lot to help me gain knowledge and maintain character.”

Will said even though this is the highest ranking a scout can receive, his days with the program aren’t over. He plans to continue with the organization, as a junior scoutmaster.