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story.lead_photo.caption Lee Glover Langdon of Lonoke holds one of his many awards that signify his accomplishment of the Eagle Scout rank. Langdon, 15, is a member of Troop 101 in Carlisle. - Photo by Mark Buffalo

— Lee Glover Langdon started his venture in Scouting when he was in the first grade. At that time, he said, he knew he wanted to be a Boy Scout.

Langdon, 15, of Lonoke earned the rank of Eagle Scout in January and received his award March 10 in a ceremony at his home church, First United Methodist Church in Lonoke. Additionally, Langdon was recently named the American Legion of Arkansas Eagle Scout of the Year.

“To me, it’s a bridge to becoming a better person,” Langdon said, referring to the rank of Eagle Scout. “It’s kind of like that in Scouting. It’s teaching you how to be a better person. When you finally get the Eagle, that’s basically saying that you’ve accomplished something very hard. The process going up to it has made me a better person.”

Langdon, who is a sophomore at Lonoke High School, is the son of Dana Glover of Lonoke. He started as a Cub Scout and earned the ranks of Bobcat, Tiger, Wolf, Bear and Webelos, of which he was a member for two years before transitioning into the Boy Scouts when he was in the sixth grade.

“He was what they call a Super Webelo,” Glover said of her son. “He was able to earn all the associated pins to go through it. … You don’t have to earn all the pins for it, but he did.”

Langdon said he wanted to get into Scouting because it sounded fun to him.

“I heard about all that they did — canoeing, camping and things like that,” he said. “Back then, that is what I was really into. I was really into the outdoors and doing stuff.

“As soon as I got into Cub Scouts, I wanted to be a Boy Scout. I wanted to continue doing what I was doing because Boy Scouts had more to it, more high-adventure stuff, like climbing, hiking, zip lines, white-water rafting. It’s so much cooler than Cub Scouts.”

Glover said her son is probably the first Eagle Scout from Lonoke in close to 20 years. In fact, Lonoke does not have a Boy Scout troop. Langdon is a member of Troop 101 in Carlisle. Garrett Tompkins is the scoutmaster in Carlisle.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Tompkins said of Langdon’s Eagle Scout rank. “He’s been working diligently toward it. He’s been fairly active in the unit and gone to lots of camps. He’s been a good Scout. I’m not surprised he made his Eagle. I always knew he’d do it.”

Langdon said he had to go through various ranks to achieve Eagle Scout. They include Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star and Life, then Eagle.

“For the first four or five ranks, I had to do some specific things,” he said. “When I got into Star, you actually have to spend time doing stuff. It prevents people from becoming an Eagle too quickly. You have to wait for four months before you can progress into the next one.”

Langdon said the rank of Life lasted six months.

“You still have to earn a whole lot of Eagle merit badges, which are required to be an Eagle Scout,” he said. “It’s a very time-consuming process, but worth it.”

A total of 21 merit badges are required to become an Eagle Scout.

“He has 63 Merit Badges,” Glover said of Langdon.

Glover said Langdon had a goal of achieving Eagle Scout during his ninth-grade year, which is young.

“That is one thing he decided early on,” she said. “He’s a very dedicated young man and driven. He set a goal, and he’s a kid with ADD (attention deficit disorder), so you have to set goals. His goal was to be a very young Eagle Scout.”

Langdon’s community-service project included planting a tree at Lonoke High School and installing an outdoor classroom at Carlisle High School. He chose the outdoor classroom because he thought it would be beneficial to students.

“Lee got a whole bunch of financing,” Glover said. “Instead of just doing one project, he was going to do three. The classroom has 14 benches, two backpack benches and a teacher’s desk.

“Lee is a leave-no-trace guide, which means you leave the environment in pristine order. He would be covering up and destroying some of the green grass, so he wanted to give back to the environment and plant a tree.”

The classroom and a concrete walkway were originally intended to be placed at Lonoke High School, but Glover said issues came up following a change in leadership with the Lonoke School District.

Langdon said he will continue as he has in Scouting until he ages out of the Scouting program at 18.

“I will continue doing everything that I did before I became an Eagle Scout,” he said.

Additionally, Langdon is a member of the Order of the Arrow, which will allow him to remain in Scouting after he is in college.

“You’re not a Boy Scout earning merit badges,” Glover said. “He’s trying to get as high a rank as he can.”

After induction into the Order of the Arrow, a member can achieve Brotherhood Membership after 10 months. According to the Boy Scouts of America, the Brotherhood ceremony places further emphasis on the ideals of Scouting and the Order. Completion of this ceremony signifies full membership in the Order.

“Vigil Honor is next,” Glover said. “You have to be in the Brotherhood for two years, and that’s even more than than getting Eagle Scout. To get the rank of Vigil, you have to be appointed by somebody, then voted in. Lee’s Order of the Arrow leader has been a member of the order for 20 years, and he hasn’t gotten into Vigil. Lee’s goal is to stay in Boy Scouts when he’s in college and afterward. He’s hoping to get some scholarships by doing that.”

Langdon was also selected to be one of 30 Scouts to attend the World Scout Jamboree, which is set for July 22 through Aug. 2 in West Virginia.

In addition to Scouting, Langdon is a member of the Lonoke High School Band, where he plays trumpet. He’s made all-region band in the past. He’s also a member of the National Honor Society, and he enjoys reading science fiction.

Staff writer Mark Buffalo can be reached at (501) 399-3676 or mbuffalo@arkansasonline.com.

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