6 From Mott, ND Earn Eagle Scout HonorIt will be a rare occasion when the six from one town receive their Eagle Scout of Honor badge in a ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday at the high school gym in Mott.
By: Associated Press,
MOTT, N.D. (AP) — They were six awkward boys with changing voices and big feet one minute, and the next they were young men.
Their moms would likely just as soon never know the stories that make them convulse in laughter when they get together, their goofball shenanigans a mother lode of hysteria-inducing memories.
They were just being the boys in Boy Scouts.
But as years passed, they discovered the Scout in the boy and they stuck it out, all the way to the very last badge.
If it is not the first time, it will be a rare occasion when the six from one town receive their Eagle Scout of Honor badge in a ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday at the high school gym in Mott.
Joey Greff, 18, can't wait.
"It's gonna be unreal," he said.
The six graduated from Mott-Regent High School in the spring and went their separate ways, to college, to the National Guard, to the rest of their lives.
The ceremony will be touchback to all those weekly meetings all those years — the projects, the flags, the camp-outs and the memories.
"It was interesting in the funnest way possible. Us guys would have never been friends without Scouts," Greff said. "We meshed over the years and it got better and better. Our last camp-out was so much fun."
Greff said he can't imagine Scouts without longtime Scoutmaster Gary Greff, of Regent, also his uncle and Enchanted Highway metal artist.
"He's just a wild guy, so hilarious. He's so old-school. He uses the stove instead of the microwave. He's like living 20 years ago," Joey Greff said.
Gary Greff gets a smile a mile wide talking about the Scouts and times such as a canoe trip down the Missouri River, during which the boys all made sure to fall into the frigid water a time or two and then started complaining of possible hypothermia when it grew dark and colder.
"They were dying left and right," he recalled. He hauled them off the river, got them shelter in some stranger's open trailer, and in the morning they discovered their destination was just around the next river bend.
"Scouting kept them together as they were becoming their own individuals," he said. He used the wisdom of experience to pair boys who weren't getting along for tasks that required their cooperation. "It's part of growing up," he said.
He said all six knew they'd be Eagle Scouts. He never doubted it himself.
"If they're proud, I'm proud," Gary Greff said.
He's never had so many boys working toward the Eagle Scout rank at one time.
"You just roll with it and go, 'What the heck.' They've done a good job," he said.
Joey Greff said Scouts was always fun and there was never a point at which the six didn't want to achieve the final rank, which requires 15 merit badges and the completion of a community project.
The projects had to be complete before they turned 18, and each one has become a lasting contribution to Mott and for Joey Greff, to the Enchanted Highway of Regent.
Justin Herner and Dylan Poehls each completed the construction of a "welcome" sign on separate entrances to the town. Alex Johnson's project is a unique beach ball and seal motif sign at the town swimming pool.
Craig Roll's project is a veterans' memorial at the cemetery.
Brandon Friez refurbished a sign commemorating the past accomplishment of the Mott Cardinal football team (the Mott-Regent Wildfire now).
Joey Greff completed a sunken ship playground at the Fisherman's Dream sculpture on the Enchanted Highway.
Mary Roll's son, Craig, used brick veneer and a reproduction of the iconic image of the flag over Iwo Jima as the background for the roll call and burial location of Mott veterans.
The boy's granddad was Sebastian Roll, a state commander and national vice commander of the American Legion.
"His grandpa helped him build the memorial and one month after it was finished, he died. His was the first name that was added to the memorial," Mary Roll said. "Craig will always remember."
For these six, there's a lot to remember.
They grew up together. They goofed off and they also learned serious life skills — how to be leaders, how to save a life, how to be a citizen.
In the end, together, they became something quite amazing: Six Eagles from Mott.
"I miss it. I'll miss it for the rest of my life. It's so fun," said Joey Greff.