85-year-old man not giving up in pursuit of Eagle Scout certification

MOBILE, AL (WKRG) — In 1948, the Bird Study Merit Badge was a requirement in earning the Rank of Eagle Scout.

As a teenager, Leon Pringle Jr. achieved the rank of Life Scout, which is the rank just below Eagle Scout.

To receive the Rank of Eagle Scout, troops were required to earn 21 Merit Badges. One badge required of the 21 was the Bird Study Merit Badge. Leon earned 26 Merit Badges but not the Bird Study badge.

In the summer of 2017 Pringle plans to earn the Rank of Eagle Scout by receiving his Bird Study Merit Badge.

Alongside Leon will be Troop 113 who have committed themselves to earning the Bird Study Merit Badge as well.

James Currie, the Graphic communication Specialist at Mobile County Health Department and Scout Master for Troop 113, says “Leon Pringle Jr. has volunteered with the group for years, and always told the young Scouts how he regrets not completing his Eagle Scout certification.”

According to Mark Bryant with Mobile County Health Department, “Troop 113 is partnering with the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans where Aviary’s Ornithologist will teach the Bird Study Merit Badge to Leon and the 12 other boys of Troop 113.”

Bryant asks people that know Leon to “please offer him words of encouragement as we take him back to school so that he may earn his Bird Study Merit Badge and the Rank of Eagle Scout. We know of no one more deserving of the Rank of Eagle than Leon Pringle, Jr.”

Leon is a Veteran and a retired electrical engineer for the Ford Motor Company, who was contracted with NASA to work with the Gemini and Apollo space programs.

Bryant says, “Leon is just as excited as the rest of the Troop about the journey to Eagle.”

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