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Erickson achieves Eagle Scout ranking

Saugus senior reaches Scouts highest honor

Posted: February 3, 2009 8:51 p.m.
Updated: February 4, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Matthew Erickson, a senior at Saugus High School, recently reached the rank of Eagle Scout.

 
Matthew Erickson didn't think it would be so amazing when he first thought of becoming an Eagle Scout. But then again, so do most people.

A senior at Saugus High School, Erickson received the title of Eagle Scout in November, an honor he had been working for since he first joined the Boy Scouts of America at the age of eight.

An Eagle Scout is the highest rank achievable in the Boy Scouts of America program. With the title comes a sense of honor that is held for life, hence the slogan, "Once an Eagle, always an Eagle."

"The biggest thing is that it has the pride of belonging," explains Erickson, "I felt accomplished because it was one of the goals I've always had since I was little."

A Scout is required to earn at least 21 difficult merit badges along with displaying leadership traits in many extensive community service projects. Erickson's project included assembling 48 hygiene bags for the Children Hunger Fund. These bags will go on to the less fortunate families between Bakersfield and Mexico.

Moreover, Erickson had to perform a series of physically and mentally demanding tasks in order to achieve the merit badges.

According to Erickson, "Once I had to jump into a 40 degree lake and swim a mile and half using three different strokes."

With only one in five boy scouts actually becoming Eagles scouts, Erickson is the only one out of Saugus this year.

"You learn a lot in the program," explains Erickson. "I saw other people lead, and it showed me how to step up to plate and become a leader myself.

For Erickson, the future holds a place for him in the Marines where he will be deployed to Camp Pendleton in June.

"I can't wait to go to school, get my degree, and become an officer in the military."

Paul Indravudh is a Saugus High School junior.

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