It was an exciting night for Boy Scout Troop 173 of South Bend. Five of its 25 scouts received the highest honor in the organization, they became Eagle Scouts.
The young men and their families were glowing with pride. They've worked their entire lives to reach this point. From camping to cooking, building to boating, becoming an Eagle Scout goes beyond earning a few badges.
“It’s going to make my mom cry for sure," said new Eagle Scout Wyatt Hagen.
Hagen, 18, has been waiting for this moment since he was 6. Very few scouts make it this far, only 2 percent of all scouts obtain the eagle ranking.
“I am going to be that 2 percent,” Hagen said.
In South Bend on Tuesday, five young men were awarded the coveted Eagle Scout ranking. Four received the honor at the ceremony. The fifth is away at college.
“I actually thought for quite a while that I wasn't going to make it, but I kicked myself in gear and made it happen," Hagen said.
From meetings to campouts, it's been a lifelong learning process. Now, after 12 years as a Boy Scout, Hagen is an Eagle.
“A very special thank you to my mother for making me believe that any goal can be accomplished," Hagen said at the podium Tuesday night.
Earning the rank of Eagle isn't easy. Scouts need 21 merit badges of lifelong skills, everything from first aid to sewing. They also complete a community service project and service hours.
“Even if you think you can't do it, it's worth it to stick with it and try to make it work," said new Eagle Scout Quin Abarr.
The distractions of being a teenager were tempting, but they didn't get in the way of these young men, now role models for the rest of their troop.
“A lot of people see that you're an all-around great citizen," Hagen said.
Hagen said being a part of Boy Scouts is not just a resume builder, it's a way of life.
“I’m going to know that this is one of the greatest goals I have accomplished in my life."
These young men are seniors in high school. In fact, they are all waiting to hear back from colleges right now.