MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities family has become part of an elite group, four times over.
The Young brothers of Eden Prairie — 26-year-old Jason, 24-year-old Jonathan, 21-year-old Jacob and 17-year-old Justin — have all reached the rank of Eagle Scout.
Only four percent of all Boy Scouts ever make it that far.
The brothers originally got involved in Cub Scouts, and have each spent about a decade of their lives working towards that goal.
“I had put so much time in through the years that it wouldn’t make sense for me to not complete the journey,” Jacob said.
The boys had to fulfill certain requirements over the years, like swimming, camping and emergency preparedness.
“Four percent make Eagle Scout, of all Boy Scouts,” Justin said. “I think having four of us go through is remarkable.”
They received merit badges after meeting each requirement, and each Young has a sash filled with them.
“Silver ones with the silver lining, they are required to achieve Eagle Rank,” Jacob said. “I know those are the difficult ones.”
Justin says earning his Communications Merit Badge was no walk in the park.
“We had to give a five-minute speech, we had to have an interview with someone, it was tough for me,” Justin said.
Luckily, when the boys doubted their ability to keep going, they could turn to each other for support.
“I think each of us had that moment where we absolutely wanted to quit,” Jonathan said. “You have the support right there. When I was going through it, I was looking up to Jason, our older brother. I learned a lot about myself as I was able to support my younger brothers, Jacob and Justin, as they went through it.”
Their father Joel says he did not have to push his boys much at all.
“They just loved it, they embraced it,” Joel said.
He and his wife, Julie, watched each son dedicate years towards Boy Scouts; learning life skills and taking part in challenging experiences.
“The service to others is the thing they’ve all taken away from this,” Julie said.
Along with their Boy Scout sash, each brother has a scrap book showcasing their journey to reach the Eagle Scout rank.
“Going to the backpacking trips in the mountains, climbing the mountains was the highlight of my career,” Jacob said.
Each book is filled with commendation letters from the governor, Minnesota’s Congressional delegation — and even the president.
The book also showcases their Eagle Project, a community service project which is one of the final requirements to reach the rank.
“This is a page from my Eagle Project where I collected 456 pairs of shoes for an organization called Soles for Souls,” Justin said.
Scouting is known for instilling leadership and character, yet there’s one added experience in the Young family.
“I think it’s unique that we share this special bond,” Jonathan said.
Jason was putting his skills to good use on a camping trip, so he wasn’t available to participate in the interview.