Alan Neves, Deseret News
Jordan Allen, left, and Larre Zitting, right, officially became Eagle Scouts Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, in Herriman. They have overcome difficult challenges in their lives and reached their goal.
I almost started crying. It was actually really emotional. I'm impressed I got this far. —Jordan Allen

HERRIMAN — Two Scouts have helped prove to themselves that life’s difficulties can’t stop them from reaching their goals.

The Boy Scouts of America recently welcomed two new members to its highest rank of Eagle. But unlike most Eagle Scouts who have to earn the badge by the time they turn 18, one of the new Eagles just turned 53 years old.

Jordan Allen and Larre Zitting couldn’t be happier. Their smiles are even bigger now that they are officially Eagle Scouts.

"I almost started crying," Allen said. "It was actually really emotional. I'm impressed I got this far."

Allen, 17, and Zitting are part of Troop 1357, a troop for Scouts who don't let their challenges in life stop them from participating in Scouting.

"It's neat to see the Boy Scouts of America allow special needs kids to be able to earn the Eagle award," said Troop 1357 Scoutmaster Mike Stanfield.

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A year ago, Allen and Zitting finished their Eagle service project: collecting stuffed animals to help firefighters comfort young children who are hurt or scared.

Stanfield credited the Scouts' accomplishments to the love they have for others and their willingness to help — two examples of what it means to be an Eagle Scout.

"They actually love the true aspects of Scouting," Stanfield said, "(and) because of their disability, it means more to them I think."

There are 12 special needs Scout troops in the Salt Lake Valley. 

Sam Penrod