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Scouting for the Future

Boy Scout leads effort to restore historic log cabin for service project.

Boy Scouts have always been considered leaders in the community, but one Boy Scout in Florissant has made an impact of historic proportions.

During last Monday's City Council meeting, Historic Florissant Inc. presented Boy Scout David Benjamin, 15, with a certificate of recognition for restoring a porch to a 1850s log cabin in , 1065 Washington.

Benjamin, who's been involved with Boy Scouts since he was in the first grade, restored the cabin as a part of his Eagle Scout service project. Eagle Scout is the highest rank of the Boy Scouts organization.

"The porch fell apart, so we took the opportunity and decided to put a new one on there," Benjamin said.

Ward 4 City Councilman Keith English recommended the project idea to Benjamin a year ago and helped him to make the project a reality.

With the help of English, Benjamin was able to get the mayor's approval for the work on the cabin as well as secure materials from various organizations.

After personally investing 36 hours of physical labor into the cabin, the cabin had a porch restored to its property. Through all of his planning and labor, Benjamin said the project itself wasn't about the service but something much bigger.

"[The project] is about planning and talking to people that I need to, to do the project," he said. "Getting Eagle Scout is proving that you can lead and know the skills you need for after you're out of school."

His father, Michael Benjamin, who serves as a scout leader for Benjamin's troop, Troop 905, agrees with his son's ideas of Boy Scouts full heartedly.

"I'm a Boy Scout leader not only because of [my son], but I believe what Boy Scouts teaches boys," Michael said.

Approximately five percent of Boy Scouts become Eagle Scouts, according to the National Eagle Scout Association, and David is well on track to become a part of the advanced group.

With the completion of his service project as well as two more merit badges, Benjamin hopes to earn his title of Eagle Scout by the end of this year.

City Council president English said that, "he always wanted the front porch [on the log cabin] because it was politically correct," and he along with the Benjamins worked hard to make that happen.

The resulting hard work will be on display Sunday, Nov. 28, during the Historic Florissant Inc.'s annual .

David wasn't aware of the log cabin's participation in the tour until last week's City Council meeting, where he was presented with two tickets for him and his family.

"I knew [Historic Florissant] wanted [the cabin] to be in the Christmas tour, but I wasn't sure it would make it," he said.

The Historic Florissant Christmas tour includes more than 10 historic sites along its tour and will be from 2 p.m. till 6 p.m., and tickets are $10. For more information, call 314-921-7055.

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