With 32 merit badges neatly sewn on his Boy Scout sash, Michael Potts of Andover quietly smiles when he talks about his newest scouting accomplishment — badge number 33 and the best one of all.
Potts, 18, has earned the most prestigious award in Scouting, the rank of Eagle Scout. His Eagle Scout Service Project entailed crafting two large benches and outside signage at his school, The LABBB Collaborative program at Bedford High School. The school now has a sign that denotes a section of the building as the LABBB program and benches for students with disabilities to use while waiting for their vans.
“Yup, I’m happy about the benches and the sign … the kids like them,” he said.
His mother, Kathy Potts, said Michael has faced challenges all of his life. And, once again, he persevered to successfully complete his Eagle Scout project.
“The developmental steps a healthy baby performs with ease such as lifting his head, sitting, standing, walking, eating, and talking were all a struggle for Michael. As a youngster he was always smiling and did his best to keep up with his peers,” she said.
Michel Potts joined the Scouting program at Troop 79 years ago and was embraced by the troop members. The troop meets at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church on Haggetts Pond Road. The Potts family lives on the same road.
He worked hard and advanced through the Scout ranks acquiring important skills along the way. He began by learning basic skills which became more difficult as he progressed to First Class, Star and Life Rank. A Scout is expected to earn a total of 21 badges, with 12 required badges. Impressively, Michael earned 32 merit badges and now is an Eagle Scout.
Michael Potts goes to Boy Scout summer camp every year and said he likes it because it’s fun to be with friends. This past summer he enjoyed his time on the waterfront and earned badges for canoeing, kayaking and small boat sailing. He also spent a week at Michigan State University celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Boy Scout organization’s Order of the Arrow Conference.
“Scouting has been a wonderful program for Michael to acquire skills he would not have learned elsewhere,” said his mother. “Michael has learned valuable skills in winter survival, first aid, and CPR. He can speak to a group as a composed fine young man. The leadership skills he has gained from the Scouting program have given him the confidence to handle any situation.”