Amherst resident Mike Taube and his wife couldn’t be prouder: All three of their sons are Eagle Scouts, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America.
There were many years when it didn’t seem these young men would make it so far.
Being a Boy Scout in the high school years was often an invitation for ribbing and taunts from classmates. And giving up every Thursday night from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. during the school year was a serious hassle for boys who had other interests as well.
“I told them, ‘If you stick with scouting, I’ll go and become a leader and take all the training,’ ” Taube recalled.
He ended up spending many years as a cub master and assistant scout master for Troop 261 at Amherst Middle School.
In 2012, the youngest son, Bradley, earned his Eagle Scout rank. The family was so thrilled that when it came time to get family portraits done at J.C. Penney during Christmas time, the three brothers had a portrait taken together in their Eagle Scout uniforms.
Their dark brown sashes are littered with nearly 100 badges among them.
Each of the three brothers – all now in college or recently graduated – reflected this past week on how being part of a local Boy Scout troop has prepared him for the future.
Andrew, 23, said he learned how to make the best out of anything. He recalled building a shelter with his brother Bradley in the pouring rain during a wilderness survival session.
“We stayed dry,” he said.
For his final Eagle Scout project, he developed refillable and weather-resistant water and drink stations for the kids at Camp Pioneer in Angola in 2008. They are still in use.
Aaron, 21, said that he became a more driven person as a result of his experiences. His biggest thrill was earning his rifle merit badge and doing nearly well enough to make it to the state competition.
For his Eagle Scout project, he created an 8-foot welcome kiosk at Tifft Nature Preserve in 2009, as well as deer-resistant structures for the garbage cans.
Bradley, 18, credits the Boy Scouts for making him a more well-rounded person, teaching him how to cook, how to balance a checkbook and how to make a flotation device out of a pair of pants.
For his project last year, he supervised much-needed improvements to Garrison Park in the Village of Williamsville, planting boxwood trees around gazebos, mulching flower beds, sanding and repainting benches, and reseating a tattered four-way see-saw.
Though all of the Taubes, including the father, have now left Troop 261, they all said they’ll continue to be promoters of the Boy Scout experience.