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Tom Reese (left) of Warrenton helped Michael on the project to make sure it actually worked for the disabled.
FROM STAFF REPORTS
An Eagle Scout service project to build a handicap accessible hunting blind/nature observation post at the Merrimac Wildlife Management area near Quantico helped earn Stephen "Michael" Combs his Eagle Scout honors.
Eagle Scout is the highest honor in the Boy Scouts of America. Michael, of Spotsylvania County, is a member of Troop 165 Knights of Columbus Council 4034.
Michael began his career in the Scouts in June 2003 as a Tiger Cub in Lilburn, Ga. with Cub Scout pack 564. In June 2004, Michael and his family moved to Fredericksburg and he joined Cub Scout pack 835.
He advanced through the remaining Cub Scout ranks and ultimately earned the highest award in the Cub Scouts, the Arrow of Light, in February 2008. He also earned the God and Me religious emblem.
Michael then bridged into Boy Scouts with Troop 165. He has camped out more than 100 days, including such venues as Porteus, Fort AP Hill Virginia, Camp Bonner, Camp Boddie and Gettysburg, as well as during cycling trips on the C&O Canal, Erie Canal and through Southwest Virginia. He earned membership into the Century Cycling Club in June 2011 when he rode more than 100 miles in one day.
He has racked up more than 1,120 miles of bicycling during these trips. He also has received recognition for accomplishing the one-mile swim for three consecutive years, and participated in the District Triathlon for the past four years. He has earned Troop 165's Triple Crown award patch for having completed the mile swim, century ride, and triathlon.
Michael has earned 76 merit badges and has served in several leadership positions including assistant patrol leader, patrol leader, troop guide, assistant senior patrol leader, troop bugler, scribe, junior assistant Scoutmaster, and currently the troop guide for Life Scout to Eagle.
His service project will be utilized by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; the National Wild Turkey Federation; disabled Citizens of Virginia; the Prince William Conservation Alliance for nature observation, education and field surveys; and Wounded Warrior Regiments.
For his service project, he received help with funding and support from the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 7 Fredericksburg, National Capital Area Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, and Universal Forest Products of Ranson, W.Va. Michael led more than 50 volunteers in the development and creation of the hunting blind. The final day of work was on Sept. 11 and in commemoration Michael inserted a memorial tribute to the 9/11 attacks into his camouflage paint theme.
Michael has self-supported his Boy Scout activities by collecting and recycling metal. To date he has recycled several thousand pounds of aluminum, tin, copper and steel.
Michael will join the Order of the Arrow, a National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America, later this year.
Michael plans to continue with Scouting until he is 18, with the goal of earning all recognized merit badges. He then plans to join a Venturing Crew. His educational aspirations are to become a marine biologist.
He is the son of Stephen and Carrie Combs.