BREMEN — Many who are active in Boy Scouts for years don’t finish up requirements for the Eagle Scout award. Jason Ringer, who recently received his Eagle, said he could understand why.
“The hardest part is sticking with it for all of the years even as friends backed out,” said Ringer, a senior at Bremen High School. “I almost stopped when I fell behind on the project.”
Reaching the Eagle level is demanding.
“The Eagle Scout is an award presented to the scouts that complete all the requirements and can show that they have learned and can demonstrate the skills learned and prove to a board at the council level that you are worthy of deserving the highest rank in scouting,” Ringer said. “Only 3 percent of scouts that enter a Boy Scout troop receive Eagle Scout.”
Starting as a youngster, Ringer has spent nine years in Scouts. For his Eagle project, he made learning equipment for the Otis R. Bowen Center.
“I learned of the project from a staff member of the Otis R. Bowen Center in Plymouth,” said Ringer, who obtained his materials from Borkholder Buildings and Supplies, Menards and donations from a troop leader. “I saw the need that they had for the experiential therapy tools. The original plans for a project were changed because of the organization moving and having undecided plans.
“The main materials I used were lumber, PVC pipe and rope. I sat down in my room every night for two weeks designing and sketching plans for the project. My dad helped me on a design problem if I got really stuck.”
While the designing and construction was tough, Ringer’s motivational skills were also put to the test.
“The hardest part was getting all the younger scouts to work together,” said Ringer, who wants to pursue an education and career in mechanical engineering. “The easiest part was designing and applying the design to the materials to make the tools.”
In all, the project took 70 man hours by his fellow scouts and 20 leadership hours by Ringer. In order to make sure the designs met usage guidelines for the Bowen Center, Ringer met with counselor Don Starke for two hours to get the basics of what the center wanted.
Using the equipment he made in a learning-by-doing therapy concept, Ringer said kids learn leadership, communication, teamwork and problem solving skills.
“This is a project that the organization can use and it will last for years,” Ringer said.
Looking back, Ringer said he would not change anything about the long work and hours taken to make Eagle.
“It takes work, but if it is what you want, don’t give up on going after it,” Ringer said. “I was excited the day that I was presented the certificate. At the ceremony I presented my parents with parent pins and Mr. Chad Berger (high school agricultural teacher and Future Farmers of America adviser) with the mentor pin for his help and advice during high school and FFA.
“The best thing about receiving the Eagle Award is knowing that during the process of achieving the award I helped my community.”