AUBURN – Benjamin Matthew Horton III, 17, of Auburn, recently completed his Eagle Scout service project to benefit the Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary in Lewiston It was one of Horton’s last steps in achieving his lifelong goal of attaining the rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts of America.

“Becoming an Eagle Scout has always been one of my biggest goals in life. I have always loved the outdoors, hiking, fishing, canoeing, camping, skiing and hiking. Boy Scouts has given me an opportunity to do all of these things,” Horton said.

“It has, most importantly, provided me with a strong moral foundation through the guidance of the Scout oath and Scout law. I have always looked up to Eagle Scouts for their citizenship and sense of integrity. It was amazing to finally see myself so close to achieving this huge accomplishment,” he said.

Horton used the leadership techniques he developed as historian, senior patrol leader, Philmont crew leader and junior assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 116 in Lewiston to complete his service project.

He organized more than 25 people and led them in refurbishing an approximately 70-yard piece of trail in the Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary, owned and maintained by the Stanton Bird Club. With the aid of Gary Maurer, chairman of Thorncrag’s Stewardship Committee, Dr. Robert Clark, Troop 116 Scoutmaster, his parents, Susan and Joseph Horton, and volunteers and donors, Horton broke up a concrete foundation on the Thorncrag property and used the rubble to repair the trail.

Horton said, “It was great! Everyone had a good time and helped the community while doing it. U.S. Army physician Dr. Loretta Scott once said, ‘We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.’ My goal in life is to help as many people as I can. That’s what life’s about – not money, power or fame, just the little things we do every day to make other people’s lives a little easier.”

He said, “There are enough terrible things in this world, but if we all work together and do our little part in life, we can end these. Do a good turn daily.”

Horton passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review on Nov. 28, 2006, and received official notification on Jan. 5 from BSA National in Texas that he was an Eagle Scout.

Horton is a junior at St. Dominic Regional High School. He is vice president of his class, plays hockey, soccer and lacrosse and is involved in the Key Club, Student Ambassador Organization and Yearbook Club.

Horton also plays violin in the school’s music ministry and has worked as a volunteer at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. “These activities keep me busy, and I really enjoy them,” Horton said.

“It was hard to believe when I passed my Eagle Board of Review, my goal was finally complete. It just goes to show, when you put your mind to something, you can achieve it. My experiences and good times in Scouting have shaped me as a person, and truly helped me in everything I do, ” he said.

“I have looked forward to this moment ever since I was 5 years old. I am so thankful to my parents, my brother Brian and all of my family and friends for supporting me and helping me to reach my goals. I will always love helping others and forever seek the joy of being alive,” Horton said.