Thirteen year old James Cruse, a Life Scout with Troop 21 in Sioux Falls, recently completed and received his Eagle Scout Badge by leading a service project to build a children's area onto the Crooks library. The area provides two benches for children to use for outdoor programs and a play fort, which also includes a bench inside.

Cruse says the library had the project in mind already but just needed the manpower to do it.  “They knew they wanted the benches and a play fort and had some money from a grant to complete the project, but they needed a design, more materials and manpower."

Cruse says his project, like most Eagle Scout projects, wouldn't have been possible without the generosity of others.  “I was fortunate to receive material donations from Schoeneman’s and Home Depot in Sioux Falls, as well as the Crooks Library.  And, of course, my parents and grandparents."

Eagle Scout projects differ from typical service projects in that the scout (in this case James) has to lead the project. And, according to Cruse, if you ask any Eagle scout what the hardest part of getting their Eagle Badge was, the answer is almost always the same - “Getting other people to listen to you.”

The process of earning the rank of Eagle - the highest rank in Scouting - demands you earn 21 merit badges, have camped at least 20 nights and have held leadership roles within the troop. A scout must also be proficient in areas such as cooking, citizenship, fitness, the environment and first aid.

James comes from a long line of Eagle Scouts - his two older brothers Michael and Thomas, his father Jason, his grandfather Fred and his great uncle Bob. James is the son of Jason and Laura Cruse of Sioux Falls.

Source: Boy Scouts of America/Jason Cruse

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