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It’s been a long road for Buffalo Grove senior Todd Ahlers, but the journey is almost complete.
The destination? The rank of Eagle Scout, something the 6-foot-11 forward/center on the Bison boys basketball team has been working toward since he joined Cub Scouts as a fifth-grader. Ahlers — a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 401, based at Kingswood United Methodist Church — currently sits two merit badges short of achieving his goal.
Ahlers must earn those final two badges before his 18th birthday in March because Boy Scouts of America rules state that no Scout can attain Eagle Scout notoriety after reaching that age. But Ahlers isn’t too worried about missing the deadline — he’s already put the finishing touches on one of the biggest requirements by completing his Eagle Scout Service Project.
And it was no small undertaking. After talking with church leaders at Kingswood, Ahlers constructed a storage building that stood 9 feet high. His idea was to provide Kingswood’s preschool a place to store games and toys.
Ahlers began the process by acquiring a building permit from the Village of Buffalo Grove, and then pouring the concrete foundation. An Eagle Scout coordinator assisted him, but Ahlers did the dirty work.
“I want to be able say I’m an Eagle Scout,” he said. “Now that I got the project done, I feel it’s really going to happen.”
Buffalo Grove coach Ryan O’Connor said Ahlers’ drive to become an Eagle Scout is a result of persistence.
“He shows a knack for being persistent,” said O’Connor, whose team fell to Elk Grove 72-68 in overtime Friday. “Many kids do Scouting, but they move on to other things. For Todd, being about 18, it’s a lifelong achievement to get there. When it’s time to get to work, he’s focused.”
Ahlers said that his journey to obtain Eagle Scout status will serve him well in the future. An expert in first aid, he plans to study athletic training/sports medicine in college, and he would like to attend Wisconsin-Lacrosse.
“I’m always looking to help people the best way I can,” Ahlers said. “Do a good turn daily is the Scout slogan, so that’s a big part of my life. You can always help in some way, and some help is better than no help.”