Franklin teen rises to eagle scout after accident

Franklin teen becomes Eagle Scout, after doubts that serious childhood injury would prevent him from being active. (WDTN- Kris Sproles)

FRANKLIN, Ohio (WDTN) – Saturday, a young man earned a new badge of honor, after beating the odds following a devastating accident.

Eli Norris, 17, suffered a serious foot injury in a lawn mower accident.

The former cub scout knew it would take a toll on his activities, but now he’s better than ever.

Next week, Eli Norris will turn 18 and he’s Saturday’s event was the start of his celebration.

He’s fulfilled one of his lifelong dreams of becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest rank for Boy Scouts of America.

“It’s all about character. And that’s one thing I learned in my board of review, and it shows what kind of person you are,” the newly-minted Eagle Scout explained.

The teen’s journey up the ranks hasn’t always been a sure thing.

His grandfather, Don Squires Sr. signed Norris up for the organization when he was just 7-years-old.

Squires Sr. himself has been a loyal member for 32 years and couldn’t imagine any other way for his grandson.

That’s why it hurt him when Norris suffered the major injury. Grandpa was unsure if the boy would ever be physically active enough to keep up with the Boy Scouts or to even ever walk again.

But more than a decade later, he’s stunned at his grandson’s progress.

“He about lost his heel in an accident in a lawn mower and to see him get through that and progress through all these sports and see the fine man he’s become today is kind of emotional,” said the teary-eyed elderly man.

Norris’ parents felt the same way as grandpa.

Lenny Norris has been just as dedicated to this family Boy Scouts tradition.

“Having my son make it through all the requirement he had to meet and the project that we did out there, it was all worth it,” the dad boasted.

To become an Eagle Scout one requirement included a final project.

Norris gave back by building a 10-foot, octagon gazebo in front of his church, Hope United Methodist.

And Saturday, as he marked the major milestone there.

It was those very church members who cheered on his new accomplishments and contribution to the community. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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