BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
Owen Auxter, 17, is heading into his senior year at Port Clinton High School, and he’ll be a busy young man. A star athlete playing football, basketball and tennis, he’s also a member of the school band, a mentor for freshman students, and a member of the Leadership Council and the National Honor Society.
And now Auxter is a “marked man” as well, with his new status as an Eagle Scout.
Owen’s brothers Zach, 28, Tristan, 24, and Elliot, 19 are all Eagle Scouts. They know the “marked man” drill quite well, and the special fraternity Owen Auxter is now a member of after his Eagle Scout ceremony on Sunday afternoon at St. John Lutheran Church in Port Clinton.
“My brothers told me that as an Eagle Scout, I’ve now become a ‘marked man.’ I’m a guy who has a responsibility to try to always do the right thing, to be a quality person, to be trustworthy and honest,” he said.
That’s all part of the Boy Scout Pledge: “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”
The Scout Law has 12 points. It is not always easy to do, but a Scout always tries to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.
An Eagle Scout has to earn many merit badges as a Boy Scout — Owen Auxter has 28 — and perform a substantial community service in order to qualify as Eagle Scout material.
Auxter’s Eagle Scout project involved the planning, fundraising and construction of eight raised garden beds at Port Clinton High School. School officials gave him the nod, and Auxter and volunteers replaced sod in a school courtyard with wooden frames and liners, adding several layers of compost and soil brought in by wheelbarrow.
The end result this week has been a garden providing fresh vegetables for the school cafeteria and, with the help of more than 60 student and adult volunteers, a job well done.
“We invested more than 230 hours in the project, and the vegetables are doing quite well,” said Auxter, with a smile. “There was some pressure to do the job right, and qualify for Eagle Scout, but it wasn’t bad pressure. We made it a fun project.”
Zach Auxter is now a financial planner in Columbus, and he and wife, Chloe, have a 3-year-old daughter, Vivian. Tristan Auxter is a commercial airline pilot. Elliot Auxter is a sophomore at Ohio University.
These days, it’s hard to get all of the Auxter boys together at the same time, said his parents, Kim and Angela Auxter, but none would have missed Sunday’s ceremony. Elliot Auxter was the Master of Ceremonies for the Eagle Scout Ceremony. City and county officials came armed with proclamations, and Scouts and family crowded the church.
Kim and Angela Auxter are finally going to take a break from scouting, and the myriad of duties, trips and meetings over the last couple of decades. Kim works at Biro Manufacturing in Marblehead, and Angela is a registered nurse.
Shepherding Cub Scout Pack 361 for more than 16 years and Boy Scout Troop 360 for almost six years, Kim and Angela Auxter are proud of the fact that they successfully guided 16 of the 100 young boys in their care through the rigors of earning rare Eagle Scout honors over the years at Troop 360 chartered by Trinity United Methodist Church.
Scouting is a tradition in Port Clinton and Ottawa County. When the Eagle Scouts at Sunday’s ceremony were asked to come forward, a full dozen of young and old Eagle Scouts gathered in front of the congregation. Ten local families have enjoyed a pair of Eagle Scouts over the years. The Auxter family, now with four Eagle Scouts, matched the legendary Hablitzel family and its four Eagle Scouts, including Dr. Derrill Arthur Hablitzel, 101, who died in March 2020.
Owen Auxter has been an excellent student and an outstanding athlete, earning first-team honors in both football and tennis in the Sandusky Bay Conference, including being named top tennis player in the SBC in 2022.
In true Eagle Scout fashion, though, Auxter is examining all of the possibilities for his future.
“I’m using my time to investigate colleges, and the various trades, before deciding what I want to do in life,” he said. “I want to learn as much as I can, and determine what would be best for me.”