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GROTON — Groton resident Michael Linzey has attained the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Scouting.

Only about 5 percent of Boy Scouts make it to the rank of Eagle, for which candidates must fulfill requirements in leadership, service and outdoor skills.

Michael Linzey, a junior at Groton-Dunstable Regional High School, is the second of four children of Michael and Ellen Linzey and the second in his immediate family to become an Eagle Scout.

Linzey said it was easy to choose a project.

“I went to the Groton Senior Center and the director was a big help,” he said, adding that it was “sort of tradition for my family” to help out there. “My older brother, Joe, created a stone wall and garden around the flagpole for his Eagle project a few years ago. So I decided to build four benches — two to go by the flagpole and another two near a tree to make the grounds more inviting and useful to the seniors.”

Martha Campbell, director for the Groton Council on Aging, said Michael was a pleasure to work with.

“What I admired most about his family was how supportive his parents were,” she said. “They’re teaching their children the importance of community service.”

Friends and neighbors supplied hundreds of items, and Linzey and his family recruited work crews from among friends, family and fellow Scouts. This resulted in more than 20 volunteers working 130 man hours to complete the job. Benches were installed last fall, and Linzey was honored at a special Eagle Court of Honor earlier this spring.

“I’ve wanted to be an Eagle since I knew I could be one,” Linzey said. “I knew I could do hard work and that setting and reaching this goal would set me apart and be a good thing for my community and for the future.”

To qualify for Eagle Scout, a boy must advance through the ranks — Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star and Life — by passing specific tests organized by requirements and merit badges. As he progresses, he also has to demonstrate participation in increasingly more responsible service projects, as well as leadership skills by holding positions of responsibility in the troop.

An Eagle must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges. Twelve are required, among those being First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Environmental Science, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, Camping and Family Life.

In addition, they had a choice between Emergency Preparedness and Lifesaving and a choice among Cycling, Hiking and Swimming. The final step to becoming an Eagle is to plan and carry out an Eagle Scout leadership service project.

Linzey is a member of the Nashua Valley Council Troop 5, which is an integral part of the Young Men’s program of the Littleton Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church formally affiliated with the Scouting movement in the United States in May 1913 as its first institutional sponsor, and today sponsors more Scouts and Scouting units in the U.S. than any other organization. Hundreds of thousands of young men are enrolled as Scouts in groups sponsored by the church.

Troop 5 Littleton, Varsity Team 5, and Venture Crew 5 all meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday nights at 616 Great Road (Route 119) in Littleton. All young men and boys ages 11-18 are welcome to join and participate with these Scouting units.

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