Double Eagle: Twinsburg Township siblings earn highest Boy Scout honor
TWINSBURG TOWNSHIP – Earning Eagle Awards is a family affair for a Twinsburg Township sister and brother.
Kristen Blyler, who also received a Girl Scout Gold Award in 2018 and remained in Girl Scouts while joining Boy Scouts, is believed to be the first female Boy Scout in the area to earn an Eagle, according to a representative from Lake Erie Council. The Eagle Award is the highest award a Boy Scout can earn.
Kristen said that she started and finished her Eagle Award Project in August – making reusable bags and masks out of old T-shirts for The Emergency Assistance Center in Northfield Center.
“My brother was the one who delivered the Eagle Charge,” said Kristen of her brother Alex, who earned his Eagle award in July. The Eagle Charge, Kristen explained, is the oath that Boy Scouts take to become Eagle Scouts.
Joyce Hunt, the executive director of TEAC, said the nonprofit organization, which provides pantry and hygiene items to those in need, was grateful for the donation.
“This was a very innovative idea that benefited our clients at a time when it was most needed,” Hunt said.
Kristen, who graduated from Twinsburg High School in 2020, said her older sister had made reusable bags “a couple of years ago.”
“I realized there was enough material if you cut off the sleeves to make masks,” she added. In all, Kristen said she was able to make 100 bags and 200 masks. Members of her troop, Scout Troop 500 in Solon, pitched in to help. Troop 500 is a Boy Scout group for girls.
In addition to the Eagle, Kristen also earned her Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the equivalent award in Girl Scouts. Her Gold Award project was to create a series of Mason Bee houses, using bamboo sticks, which were then placed around Liberty Park. Mason Bees are a type of bee; the houses provide a place for them to lay eggs.
“I was the first girl to get her Gold in Twinsburg in four years,” Kristen said.
Kristen said she became involved in Boy Scouts because of her brother Alex’s troop, Scout Troop 223 in Twinsburg.
“My family is pretty big on outdoor activities like camping and kayaking,” Kristen said. She added that she completed the National Youth Leadership Training through Boy Scouts.
As well as Girl and Boy Scouts, Kristen said she also participated in Venturing, a co-educational program for those age 14 through 20. In addition to Scouting, Kristen said she played euphonium in her high school’s marching band.
“But Scouts have been my biggest thing,” she said.
Kristen currently attends Bowling Green University, studying in the university’s new program of resort and attraction management while minoring in leadership. She will spend the next two summers interning at Cedar Point in Sandusky.
Alex said that his Eagle Award project was making a 170-foot gravel path in front of the Liberty Stone House Naturalist Office on Liberty Road. The path connects the Stone House, which has been used as the naturalist’s office, to the garden. He said he created the path so people can walk between the Stone House and gardens “without having to walk through the grass.” In addition, he put up a sign near Liberty Road “so people would know where the property is.”
“It took me about a couple weeks to start and finish the project itself,” Alex said. “But the planning itself was about three months.”
The project was dedicated to Stanley Stine, the city of Twinsburg’s longtime naturalist. Stine retired last May.
“He was a great influence on me and my project, and he also helped countless others, including my sister on her Gold Award, before his retirement,” Alex said. “This dedication is on the plaque that is below my sign on the property on Liberty Road.”
Alex, 16, a junior at Twinsburg High School, said that he was thinking of going into architectural engineering when he graduates from high school.
As well as Boy Scout activities, Alex said he plays the euphonium and baritone in his high school band. He enjoys spending time with friends and family, and spending time outside.
For those interested in earning the Eagle Award, Alex said he would encourage them to reach out.
“It might seem like a lot, it may seem difficult, but there are resources and people who are willing to help,” he said.
Reporter April Helms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org