The Boy Scouts of America consider the rank of Eagle Scout their highest honor and on Sunday 16-year-old Andrew Kirchoff of Onalaska officially joined their ranks.
According to the Boy Scouts, only 7 percent of their members reach the prestigious rank. In order to do so, scouts must fulfill a set of requirements. Those requirements include earning 21 merit badges, serving as a leader in their troop and completing a major service project in their community.
Kirchoff took initiative in building free libraries in select Onalaska parks, a project he named Little Free Libraries.
He said he always had a passion for reading, and after hearing multiple community members make requests for similar amenities to the Onalaska City Council, Kirchoff knew what his project would be.
"I thought it would a good self-influence and a good thing to have in the community too," Eagle Scout Andrew Kirchoff describes.
Kirchoff's experience implementing the project helped to earn his new title while teaching him a few things about himself.
"I was really hesitant at first," Kirchoff elaborates, "I am kind of shy sometimes when it comes to talking to big groups of people and companies and stuff and really it took a while for me to dig into it, but once I found out there was a lot of people willing to help, there's a lot of opportunity out there."
Kirchoff will stay in his current position as Junior Assistant Scout Leader for Troop 168 until he turns 18 and is eligible to pursue becoming a Scout Master.