Autism can't stop this Eagle Scout

10:58 PM, Mar 11, 2012   |    comments
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By Mike Bush

South County (KSDK)- Sometimes, when others believe in you, it helps you believe in yourself.

In South County Sunday, on the second floor of Ronnie's Cinema,  19 year old old Nick Kaminsky was honored for earning his Eagle Scout. The Eagle rank is the highest attainable in the Boy Scouts.

It's a lofty accomplishment for anyone but especially for someone with autism.

"Actually when we first started I didn't even think we'd get a merit badge, " says Shari Kaminsky, Nick's mom.

Before he joined the Scouts like many kids with autism, Nick was dealing with many challenges.

"He wasn't socializing with other children, " explained his mom. "He wasn't paying attention to other children. He had a very low frustration level. He would get very angry and very physical."

But in Scouts something seemed to click with their emphasis on skills and goals.

"You have canoeing, lifesaving, swimming, personal fitness, " explains Scoutmaster Mark Seibel.

For his Eagle Scout Project, Nick built a butterfly garden at Neuwoehner school, in West St. Louis County, where his younger brother Daniel is a student.

"I wanted to make a butterfly garden so they can continue their life cycles, " says Nick.

Nick not only designed and researched the project, he helped secure the donations to get it built

Becoming an eagle scout is a rare honor. Out of every 100 scouts, only four reach the eagle rank.

So Sunday's special event included friends, family, his entire scout troop and the spotlight.

"I'm very excited, " said Nick. "I feel like a movie star."

It takes 21 merit badges to earn the rank of Eagle Scout but on Sunday it was clear that with his accomplishment, Nick Kaminsky earned his own badge of honor.


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