RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Charles Binder Jr. has been a Cub Scout since he was seven and a Boy Scout since he was 11.
Now, 16, Binder Jr. is ready to accept the organization's highest honor: Eagle Scout.
"Honestly, I did not think I would make it this far," Binder Jr. says of his career in the scouts. "But with the help of my parents and a little bit of confidence, it bought me to where I am. But it was a lot of hard work."
Binder Jr. will become the only active Eagle Scout in his troop when he joins the rank of Eagle Scout Friday evening at St. Mary Church
To join the ranks of Eagle Scout, Binder Jr. accrued 54 merit badges and held several leadership positions within his troop.
For his service project — a requirement for all prospective Eagle Scouts — Binder Jr. restored the garden at the Rutherford Museum that had been ravaged by Hurricanes Sandy and Irene.
Walter Carroll, the Chairman of the Troop Committee for Binder Jr.'s troop, says becoming an Eagle Scout is an accomplishment that stays with you for the rest of your life.
"It's like the Marines in the sense that 'once a Marine always a Marine.'" Carroll said. "Well, 'once an Eagle Scout always an Eagle Scout.' It is something you will carry with you for the rest of your life."
Looking towards the future, Binder Jr. says he would like to study astrophysics in college and learn more about the cosmos. He says being a lifelong boy scout lends to his seemingly daunting career path.
"I've learned the belief that somebody can be worth something when they are young and not just when they are older," Binder Jr. said. "I can look back and say I didn't just play video games and do nothing when I was a kid. I really accomplished something."
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