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Eagle Scout gives back

The dropbox is brightly colored with red, white and blue for easy locating. Tierny Hamlin / The Dickinson Press 1 / 3
Mason Eilts stands with his dropbox where you can easily drive up to drop off flags. Tierny Hamlin / The Dickinson Press2 / 3
The dropbox is large and can fit many American flags. Tierny Hamlin / The Dickinson Press3 / 3

As Mason Eilts ends his junior year at Trinity High School, he has recently finished his service project to receive the highest Boy Scout honor of becoming an Eagle Scout.

To obtain the Eagle Scout award, it is mandatory to do a service project and give back to the community in which you live. Eilts decided to do a drop box for American flags.

"I decided to do the dropbox because whenever I was out selling popcorn, members of the community would give us flags to retire for them," said Eilts.

When community members would give Eilts and other Boy Scout members flags, they usually stored them to save and retire at their ceremonies. Eilts decided that storing them was not the best idea and he knew that the American Legion post in Dickinson did ceremonies more often.

"My dropbox will collect the flags and because the American Legion retires flags more often, I will be giving the flags to them to retire," Eilts said.

Eilts partnered with the American Legion, Dickinson Parks and Recreation and the Stark County Veterans Memorial Association. He met with people from each group and pitched the idea, developed a budget and did a "ton" of paperwork Eilts added.

"We have had sponsors from people in town and businesses that were excited about the project and helped sponsor his Eagle project," said Rob Eilts, Mason's dad. "It is definitely a community event!"

The dropbox is in Memorial Park, beside the new American Legion building. It is brightly colored with red, white and blue which will not let you miss it. The dropbox is also under a light for easy access at night.

"I encourage people to come drop off their flags because they will be properly be retired and that is showing honor to the flag," added Mason.

Eilts has decided to go to basic training this summer in the North Dakota National Guard and will not return until August 12. After this time, he will have his Eagle Scout dedication ceremony to officially achieve the rank.

Out of all the Boy Scouts which is about 2.3 million, only 20 percent become Eagle.

"In Dickinson we have a high rate of Boy Scouts become Eagle Scouts, but nationwide it is not a huge amount," said Mason.

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