Friends earn Boy Scouts#039; highest honor

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 23, 2003

Joshua Hall and Christopher Lutz have earned the highest advancement award the Boy Scouts of America offers to Scouts: the Eagle Award.

They also comprise two-thirds of their Boy Scouts of America troop's Eagle Scouts.

They are a testament that good things happen to good friends who make a commitment.

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Hall and Lutz are among about 2 percent of all Boy Scouts who attain the Eagle rank, Scoutmaster Jeff Hall said.

Obviously, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get through all the ranks and positions needed to fulfill the Eagle rank.

Both teenagers will be recognized in ceremonies, beginning 2 p.m. today at St. Olaf Lutheran Church.

The boys are members of Troop 112, which is sponsored by the American Legion. Meetings of the troop take place at First United Methodist Church.

Troop No. 112 is Austin's newest and less than 10 years old. The first and only other Eagle Scout from the troop is Derek Hall, older brother of Joshua, but the Hall connection doesn't end there.

The boys' father, Jeff Hall, is the troop scoutmaster.

"I think it's pretty cool to become an Eagle Scout," Joshua Hall said. "It's a step I've taken that will show others my commitment to something. Businesses will look closely at this and that may help me in the future."

Lutz said becoming an Eagle Scout means he is a role model for younger teens and children.

"I think being a Scout has been good for me," he said. "It's given me standards to live by and the values to shape my life. I realize I'm a role model, but I don't mind that. I can do that."

Each Eagle award candidate must earn 21 merit badges and successfully complete a community, church or synagogue-related service project to earn the coveted Eagle honor

Joshua Hall

Joshua Hall, 16, lives on Ninth Ave. SE.

As part of his Eagle Award requirements, Hall chose a service project to install an Avenue of Flags in the Grand Meadow Cemetery. He also landscaped around the pump house at the same cemetery.

Last May, he and his father, plus other scouting friends, went to the Grand Meadow Cemetery, where his grandfather (Hall) is buried and created an "Avenue of Flags" to honor all veterans buried there. They also performed some landscaping work.

It took two full weekends to complete, but the efforts -- first seen on Memorial Day -- were worth it.

Hall has served as assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, quartermaster, patrol leader and assistant patrol leader.

He was voted into the Order of the Arrow and served as assistant patrol leader while on a National Jamboree two summers ago.

Hall is a member of St. Olaf Lutheran Church and is active in football, swimming, track and weight lifting at Austin High School where he is a sophomore.

He is the son of Jeff and Renae Hall and has an older brother, Derek.

Christopher Lutz

Christopher Lutz, 16 , lives on 20th St. NE.

Lutz has also earned the highest advancement award the Boy Scouts of America offers to Scouts.

As his Eagle Award service project, Lutz chose to plant trees to create a wind block for the Friends in Need Mower County Humane Society.

He also erected a snow fence and picked up trash on the organization's property.

The Friends in Need Mower County Humane Society is a favorite charity of Lutz. That's where he adopted Katy, a four-legged friend.

Lutz has served as patrol leader, scribe and troop guide. He was voted into the Order of the Arrow.

Lutz is a member of Queen of Angels Catholic Church and is active in cross-country running, swimming and track and field at Austin High School where he is a sophomore.

He is the son of Jay Lutz and Kelly Rush of Austin. He has a younger brother, Sean.

Hall credits scouting with helping him gain confidence.

"I was a shy kid, but now I have lots of confidence," he said.

Both boys say scouting has provided them with a lifetime of memories; everything from Pinewood Derby competition as Cub Scouts and their first over-night camping trips.

They became good friends through scouting and their friendship has continued in high school, where they are members of the swim team.

Now, Hall and Lutz are watching others in their troop, who are preparing for their ascent to Boy Scouts of America's pinnacle.

Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at