Thirteen is Luke Somerville’s lucky number.
The Marana youth set a goal to earn his Eagle Scout badge before he turned 14, and sure enough, that’s just what he did.
On Aug. 28, just a week before his 14th birthday on Sept. 2, Luke received the highest rank a Boy Scout can achieve.
He joined the Cub Scouts at age 8 and was a Boy Scout by the time he turned 11. Like many of his peers, Luke’s family has a history of scouting service. His dad, Loren, also was a Boy Scout.
Why push so hard to earn the badge by age 14?
“I know the importance of being an Eagle Scout and how it can help in life,” said Luke, who is an eighth-grader at Tortolita Middle School.
The teenager had some struggles along the way. The biggest was coping with the deaths of his paternal grandfather in May and then his maternal grandfather in July. Knowing how proud his grandfathers were of his goal helped keep him going.
His Eagle Scout project was constructing a pathway made from decomposed granite at Ironwood Elementary School, his alma mater. He and the school’s principal, Dr. Eric Abrams, determined the final project after discussing the school’s needs.
The 40-foot-long walkway helps reduce the vehicular congestion during school drop-offs and pick-ups by extending the student waiting area in the small parking lot.
The scout organized about 72 friends, family members and church members, who volunteered to help.
The project, which began construction on March 12, also included the removal of a retaining area and weeds. In their place, Luke and his crew left behind fresh, new flowers.
The school recognized Luke’s efforts at an assembly, where the scout was pleased to hear that the pathway was indeed helping traffic to flow more smoothly during high-usage times.