Retirement community resident earns final merit badge, becomes "Bald" Eagle Scout


Ben Bogan, life enrichment director at Paul Spring Retirement Community, presents resident Robert King with awards and badges. (Credit: Paul Spring Retirement Community)

Robert King, a 91-year-old resident of Paul Spring Retirement Community, recently achieved a lifelong dream, thanks to the help of the retirement community's staff.

While growing up in Woburn, Massachusetts in the 1940's, King was active in the Boy Scouts. He went on to join the Navy and later worked as a pharmacist and as a businessman who opened pharmacies for the American Association of Retired Persons. While in the business world, King continued to demonstrate his support for the scouting organization by hiring any and all Scouts who came looking for a job. His biggest regret, however, was never completing his final merit badge to become an Eagle Scout.

The team at Paul Spring Retirement Community decided to help King achieve that goal. With the guidance of the Boy Scouts' National Area Council in Washington, D.C., Paul Spring staff helped King meet the requirements for a merit badge in Bird Study. They escorted King to the Garuda Aviary and Bird Sanctuary in Poolesville, Maryland and helped him assemble a birdhouse, which now resides in the internal courtyard of the retirement community. 

Robert King and Ben Bogan set up the birdhouse in the courtyard of the retirement community. (Credit: Paul Spring Retirement Community)

For these efforts, King was presented the "Bald" Eagle Scout - an honorary award in place of the Eagle Scout recognition, which can only be achieved by age 18. Paul Spring Retirement Community's Life Enrichment Director Ben Bogan also presented King with a book and authentic Eagle Scout badge from the 1940's.

"This is one of the happiest days of my life," King said.

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