Six new Eagle Scouts from Troop 285 in Orchard Park each completed service projects that made a positive impact in Western New York.
Teenage boys often get a bad rap, but there are many in our community who are working to make it a better place to live. They include six new Eagle Scouts from Orchard Park, making them this week's Good Neighbors.
Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout is a rare distinction- fewer than 5 percent of scouts ever get there.
But this week six young men from Orchard Park received the badge and medal.
Their scoutmaster has watched them grow together and said it was thrilling to watch them mature. They defy the stereotypes of typical teenage boys.
"What they're doing is saying thank you and giving back to both their families and their communities," said scoutmaster Brian D'Arcy.
They each organized service projects. Matt Holder fixed up a part of the Jericho Roads Community Health Center.
"I'm a much better leader than I was before. I'm a better decision maker. It helped me build character and I feel like I'm a bigger part of the community," said Holder.
Jon Wardner repaired part of the St. James Church youth hostel.
"This boy scout troop used those facilities sometimes for campouts of our own. So in a way for me, it was a way to give back," said Wardner.
Jason Stuhr organized a toy and clothing drive for Harvest House.
"It's a good feeling. I'm glad I could help someone out. I touched about 400 or 500 people they told me," said Stuhr.
Andrew Bieler cleaned up and studied fish in local ponds.
"We did find out that a couple of the fish species they were stocking ended up dying off, so we saved the town some money for future stocking," said Bieler.
Darryl Colosi did work at St. Luke's Mission of Mercy.
"We're so fortunate here in Orchard Park and my community. It's really something small to just go help them," said Colosi.
And Jaskson Ogin help the WNY Veteran's Housing Coalition.
"I think it really built my character. I think it prepared me for pretty much anything. Kind of gave me a moral code to live by," said Ogin.
The Boy Scouts motto is be prepared and these young men certainly are prepared to be Good Neighbors for a lifetime.
If you know of a good neighbor who's story you'd like us to tell, just e-mail Melissa at Melissa.Holmes@wgrz.com or send her a tweet @2melissaholmes.