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Scouts with special needs complete requirement for Eagle Scout

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HERRIMAN -- Two Boy Scouts were recognized Thursday in a ceremony for their efforts to earn the highest rank in scouting. The scouts have overcome difficult challenges in their lives and have officially completed their Eagle service project.

Boy Scouts are known to be helpful and friendly, but you won't find a friendlier scout that Larre Zitting.

"It's very exciting to me," Zitting said. "I'm the only person in my family that is ever going to get an Eagle merit badge."

Even though Zitting is 52 years old, the Boy Scouts of America will soon be awarding him his Eagle badge. On Thursday, Zitting and fellow troop member Jordan Allen, finished their Eagle Scout projects by presenting stuffed animals and blankets to firefighters.

It was one of the last requirements they had to accomplish before the Eagle would be achieved.

"It's been hard -- doing swimming and all the Eagle badges and stuff -- it was really hard," Allen said. "My worst part was I had to jump in a lake -- freezing cold water."

It's very exciting to me. I'm the only person in my family that is ever going to get an Eagle merit badge.

–Larre Zitting

Troop 1357 includes nine scouts, who all have special needs. But dedicated scout leaders work to meet the individual needs of all the scouts in the troop.

"It really builds their self-esteem," said scout master Mike Stanfield. "I see a new body come in, he's very shy, quiet, reserved. As we start functioning in scouting, he comes out of it."

No one knows that better than Roger Monson, whose 14-year- old son Andrew has already reached the rank of Star, thanks to the scout leaders and the other scouts of Troop 1357.

There are three special needs scout troops in the Salt Lake Valley that provide similar service to young men. As for Allen and Zitting, they aren't Eagle Scouts yet. Zitting has one more merit badge to earn before he can pass a scout board of review.

But KSL will be there when both are awarded their Eagle badges.



Sam Penrod


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