JAY — Spruce Mountain High School senior Erik Taylor was honored Saturday night by a crowd of family, friends and fellow Boy Scouts for achieving the organization’s highest status – that of Eagle Scout.

The parish hall of St. Rose Catholic Church in Jay was filled with uniformed fellow Scouts, as Taylor, age 17 and son of Rob and Julie Taylor of Jay, was pinned by his mother.

Rep. Paul Gilbert, D-Jay, also honored Erik Taylor by introducing a Maine Legislative Sentiment recently. Gilbert’s sentiment included many of Taylor’s achievements and his participation in numerous Scouting activities.

A Scout since first grade, Taylor said Scouting has been a way to learn leadership and achieve personal growth. He has also worked to recruit other young men and boys into the organization because of the many skills it teaches.

“It’s been an honor to see him come up through the Scouts,” said Ray Jacques, leader of Troop #518 in Wilton which includes young men from the Wilton and Jay area.

Taylor credited many people with his achievement and helping him along the Eagle Scout trail, including his parents, Jacques, and teacher, Dan Lemieux, who also earned the honor of being an Eagle Scout when he was a young man.

“It’s been a pleasure to be a part of this process. Erik is smart, he understands, he wants to be a real kid,” said Lemieux.

Taylor, whose father is an assistant Scout leader, thanked his father who he said has always been an inspiration to him, his mother who has always been there for him, his mentors, other Scouts, and his twin sister, Emily, who he said has boosted his achievements because the two have always been competitive.

He was led in the Eagle Scout pledge by Josh Daigle, who had earned Eagle Scout status in Troop #518 in August.

For Taylor’s project, he organized and built four exercise stations at the rear of SMHS. These include a stretching station, agility run, chin up bar, and push up and sit up platform.

To earn the Eagle Scout honor, the young man must receive the help of family, friends and fellow Scouts. Taylor talked with builders to learn how to meet his goal, and received monetary donations from the Jay Recreation Department.

He is the top academic student among Jay seniors and his sister is in second place, said his mother. He has earned 12 Eagle Scout badges and 14 other Scout badges.

He plans to attend college in the fall to study biomedical engineering. He is not sure yet which college he will attend, but has applied to the University of Maine, Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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