Bittle feted for Eagle Scout rank

Jacob Bittle has earned his Eagle Scout rank at the age of 15. The average age for young men to attain Eagle Scout status is 17 years old.Centre High School sophomore Jacob Bittle will soon celebrate what relatively few other Boy Scouts have been able to achieve: the rank of Eagle Scout.

With the average age at 17 for young men to attain the Eagle Scout award, and only 7 percent ever reaching that goal in 2015, Bittle at age 15 succeeded through determination and dedication.

?I also give credit to my dad (Butch) as assistant scoutmaster, my mom (Nita), scoutmaster Mark DeCou and Levi Gemmill and Chris Stuchlik, my scoutmaster,? Bittle said about achieving his goal.

Earning the Eagle Scout award represents many years of effort. Bittle said he started when he was a first grader as a Tiger Scout.

Eagle Scout project

Now, almost a decade later, Bittle is being recognized for completing his project, which was to organize and spearhead the planting of more than 80 trees at the Burdick United Metho?dist Church.

The trees were damaged by winds, he said, and the project was finished Nov. 10, 2015.

Prior to beginning the project, Bittle said he researched the best spacing patterns, which kind of trees would work well, how much water would be required and necessary fertilizers.

?At one point,? he said, ?I considered putting in an actual restroom for the Lin?coln?ville baseball field (as my project) because I enjoy baseball,? he said.

The trail

Bittle said his journey began as a Tiger Cub Scout initially in Marion?s Troop 102.

?Several years ago, he and several other boys moved their membership and started Lincolnville?s 106 Troop back up,? his mother said.

Bittle went on to hold positions within the troop, such as senior patrol leader, assistant patrol leader, scribe and grubmaster.

Under the guidance of Scoutmaster Chris Stuchlik, Bittle participated in volunteer-service hours for his troop and community to achieve his current rank.

Bittle said scouting has taught him about life experiences, leadership and the importance of being re?spon?sible for his actions.

?Scouting means a lot to me, and I think more boys should get involved… it provides great opportunities (for their) future,? he said.

In addition to his Scouting activities, Bittle said he enjoys other hobbies.

?I like to hunt and build knives,? he said. ?I also participate in football, track, robotics and FFA.?

Bittle also is active in the Burdick United Metho?dist Church youth group. Because he enjoys hunting, Bittle said he hopes to be a hunting guide after graduation.

The Eagle Scout Court of Honor is at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 16, at the Marion City auditorium, he said.

Bittle is grateful for his family?s support, because it took them and everyone involved to make the award possible.

Eagle Scout is the highest and most coveted award in all of Scouting, according to Boy Scout officials, and it is the last major step in the advancement program.

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