Jon finally became and Eagle Scout in February.  Achieving this honor took 12 years and 33 Merit Badges, the Rank of Brotherhood in the Order of The Arrow.  His Eagle Scout Project involved his love of nature and biology to build Bat Houses.  Jon’s service coordination for DDSO in NY State is thru Heritage Christain Home.  Heritage Christian Home supports independent living centers, a working farm and a therapy riding stable.  Jon built a demo bat house, and 6 other bat houses for one of the independent living centers and the therapy riding stable. He also built nesting rabit hutches and a new roof for the Therapy Rabbit Hutch at Springdale Farms.  In addition he made a presentation on bats at the annual festival for Springdale Farms.  After a couple of clerical errors regarding rank advancement, his Board of review was scheduled.  He did well during his board of review and the reviewers seemed impressed with all that Jon did.   Jon called me right after his board of review.  I could imagine the smile on his face as he spoke to me.  “Hey Mom, after 12 years of scouting and 33 merit badges later, I’m finally an Eagle Scout.”  The Eagle Scout rank is the highest rank you can achieve in Scounting.  The statistic is 1 in 3000 scouts achieve this rank.  Even fewer scouts achieve this rank with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  

You may ask why Jon decided to build bat houses for his eagle project.   His love of Bats started while in Gainesville for the Imaging Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Study.  The University of Florida at Gainesville has a very large Bat Colony.   They have two huge bat houses that house approximately 6,000 Mexican bats.  We love to watch them at twilight while they make their feeding migration.  Jon thought that Bat houses at the farm and at the stables, would help the eco-systems.  Bats are very good for the environemnt as they feed on insects, and their droppings are good fertilizer for the soil.   He hopes that the residents of the living center will enjoy watching bats making their feeding migration at twilight.  Bats are pretty small.  Their feeding migration is pretty fasinating.  One scout bat circles the path to make sure the timing is right.  It makes on circle around the migratatory pattern and then calls to the other bats.  The bats fly overhead in search of insects and food.  The large colony in FL is really truly facinating to see.   As a result of watching the bats and watching various nature programs on TV, he has decided to seek a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a future focus in Zoology and Paleontology.  He wants to be a research scientist.  To pursue this goal, Jon has decided to live at home for his undergraduate degree.  He has applied to RIT and Nazareth in Rochester, NY.  

Jon recently received his acceptance letter from RIT and is now awaiting his status from Nazareth. Jon has always told me, that he won’t let having Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy stop him from pursuing a goal that he has set for himself.  Our job as his parents is to help Jon remove any obsticles that may prevent him from achieving his goal.  So far I think we have done a decent job at aiding Jon in reaching his dreams and aspirations.  As we look toward his college career we need to maintain our flexibility in helping Jon reach his goals.

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Comment by Rosalene Graham on March 1, 2011 at 8:24am
Achieving Eagle Scout status is very hard.  Congratulations to your son.  And congratulations to  you for raising  your son to have such goals.
Comment by Veronica E. on February 28, 2011 at 10:24am

Congratulations to Jon!! What an accomplishment!

 

I hope Max has an interest in scouting -- I think it's such a great activity for boys and girls!

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