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Turlock teen earns highest rank in Boy Scouts
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Turlock teen Ryan Burns earned the rank of Eagle Scout. - photo by Photo Contributed

Only 4 percent of all Boy Scouts attain the Eagle rank, and Turlock teen Ryan Burns can proudly count himself among those elite.

A member of Turlock Troop #451, Burns earned Eagle Scout status after obtaining 27 merit badges and successfully completing a community service project.

“It’s a great feeling to be recognized for all of my hard work and efforts over the years,” said Burns.

The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award was established in 1969 to acknowledge scouts who have received extraordinary national-level recognition, fame, or eminence within their field, and have a strong record of voluntary service to their community.

For his community service project, Burns worked with First United Methodist Church and helped transform an abandoned room into a huge asset that members of the church could use.

“Over the years, the room became a junk room and it was only used for storing leftovers from yard sales, cardboard and other abandoned furniture,” said Burns. “Once I restored the room, it is now used as a room to hold meetings, conferences and other classes.”

His Boy Scouts skills came in handy when working on his final project. Burns tore out old carpets, added new lights and removed the sink and pipes that occupied the room. He also installed a new counter and flooring. The project was funded by donations from the community.

His efforts not only received recognition among his troop, but President Barack Obama , former president George W. Bush and Congressman Jeff Denham sent Burns congratulatory letters honoring him for his Eagle award.

“NASA even congratulated me,” said Burns. “It’s nice to be recognized.”

Burns has served in Troop 451 for five years and has received a number of recognitions including God and Church Religious Award, Junior Leader Training and Order of the Arrow. He’s earned 27 merit badges and plans to earn more.

“I’m going to continue to be a part of the Boy Scouts and aim higher,” said Burns. “I’ve learned so many life and leadership skills that will help me become a successful person in the future. The Boy Scouts gave me the tools and I hope I’ll be able to pass on the same tools to my future kids.”