18 year old Ben Osenten, son of Reginald and Lesa Osenton, has recently reached a huge stepping stone in his life; he graduated from Boy Scout to Eagle Scout.
Ben began Scouting in 2002 as a Tiger Cub in Logan, W.Va., where his mother served as cubmaster. He has been scouting ever since, accumulating 36 merit badges and six ranks.
Although making Eagle Scout is a grand accomplishment for anyone, the feat is just a little bit sweeter for Osenton. This is because he fights a battle with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and is limited to his wheelchair. But as he has proven, he doesn’t let that stop him from achieving his dreams.
“I’m most proud of everything,” said Ben. “I’m proud of everything I’ve done.”
Not only has Osenton climbed the ranks of the scouts, he has also held a number of leadership positions including troop historian and assistant patrol leader.
One requirement to earn Eagle Scout status is to complete an ‘Eagle project.’ Because of his disability, a disease that causes progressive muscular degeneration, and the Boy Scouts’ policy (the organization began making accommodations for Scouts with disabilities in the 1970s), Osenton was able to achieve this final feat through alternate comparable requirements.
For his project, he wrote, illustrated, published and distributed a children’s book, Mooseman and Beagle Boy Save the Children, a story about a superhero and his sidekick seeking to find a cure for children’s cancer.
“He saw this character and started drawing it,” said Ben’s father. “Then, of course, he has been to Shriners Hospital several times, even though he’s never been admitted, and at some point thinking about the project it clicked.”
“I made it for the kids in the hospital with disabilities,” said Osenton
Because a major component of the project is leadership, Ben organized a distribution network, sending Boy Scouts from Troop 11 to local hospitals and pediatricians’ offices to deliver copies of Mooseman and Beagle Boy Save the Children.