The rank of Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Scouts BSA program of the Boy Scouts of America. Since its inception in 1911, only four percent of Scouts have earned this rank after a lengthy review process. The Eagle Scout rank has been earned by over 2.5 million youth, according to Wikipedia.

Ripley High School junior Matt Moore has been a member of Boy Scout Troop 440 since he was 11-years-old. Having reached the rank of Eagle Scout, he was recently able to complete and see his Eagle Scout Project come to fruition.

“An Eagle Scout project is a service project that helps out your community,” Moore said. “It is a requirement of being an Eagle Scout.”

For Moore’s project, being from Cottageville, he chose to “spruce up” his community by working with Mark McComas, formerly of Jackson Signs, to create a “Welcome to Cottageville” sign.

On Saturday, Feb. 22, Moore was able to see his project come to life as he led members of his troop, under the direction of McComas, dug holes and place the sign at the entrance of Cottageville to show those who cross the bridge that they are welcome to the area.

“Cottageville used to be a beautiful place,” Moore said.

He feels in the past several years the town has lost some of that beauty. His hope is that his project can bring some of that back by showing visitors that they are welcome.

Under the sign is a list of names, sponsors who helped Moore make his vision a reality.

“I want to thank Bud Akens and Zach Akens, Mike Matheny, and Rachel Hanshaw,” Moore said. “They have gotten me where I am now, and they mean a lot to me.”

Moore said his years in the scouting program have taught him how to be a leader, not just in his troop, but in school, and athletics as well.

According to Moore, his time with the Boy Scouts has helped him learn many life lessons and he is grateful to have been able to be a member.

“I’ve gotten so much out of it,” Moore said. “It’s really prepared me for life.”