BILLINGS, Mont. - The road to becoming an Eagle Scout takes dedication, hard work and persistence. Only a few scouts are capable of earning their Eagle rank, right now Atreyu Doney Graham is on the final stretch of earning his.
"Only a few percentage of all scouts ever reach this rank because of the amount of commitment and time that it takes," said Troop 23 Master Alan Lohof.
Billings Firefighter, Alan Lohof has been Atreyu's Scout Master for Troop 23 since he was 6 years old and says Atreyu has worked his way through the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second and First class.
"And those are learning basic first aid things, going camping, cooking, how to do nots and lashes, things like that. And then after you reach first class is usually when the scouts start earning merit badges, they have to earn for eagle', said Lohof.
Atreyu is currently at the Life rank, just below Eagle. To earn the prestigious honor, the young scout must lead a project which gives back to the community.
Atreyu is working with the Lockwood Fire Department, putting together what he calls warm heart bags, filled with a plush toy and three books, for first responders to give to children at the scene of an incident, who may have a difficult time understanding what's happening.
"I kind of had a tragedy myself, in our family, and that is when I first met Alan, when he showed up at the house, in the fire truck and he gave me a Dalmatian," said Atreyu.
After meeting his personal hero and joining scouts, Atreyu is now ready to be a hero for someone else.
"He's essentially come full circle, something that happened when he was a child, he is going to be able to give that same comfort when they have a tragedy come to their house," said Lohof.
Atreyu must complete his project before he turns 18 next month to earn the Eagle rank, but the fundraising for the project has not been going well.
"We thought about doing a car wash or a bake sale, but with the pandemic we couldn't really do that with COVID restrictions." said Atreyu.
The aspiring Eagle Scout is $300 shy of reaching the 1,000 dollars necessary to fund the bags.
Residents willing to help Atreyu fund his mission, can donate here.