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Riverbank Teen Earns Eagle Scout
A Boy Scout since he was in sixth grade, Jacob Hodges of Riverbank has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, which is the highest rank in the organization.

Hodges was recently honored and awarded plaques at meetings of both the Riverbank Unified School District board and the Riverbank City Council.

He is a junior at Riverbank High School and has belonged for five years to Scout Troop No. 13, which meets in Modesto.

Hodges is interested in wildlife and the outdoors. So for his Eagle project, he helped the Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center in nearby Hughson by building two "hack boxes" for young birds of prey, which will be released back into the wild.

"The boxes have to be really secure so nothing like a raccoon can get in and eat them," he said.

He also constructed a woodpecker cage for a bird that was "tearing apart a metal one" and needed wood parts added on which it could use its beak. The cage was a combination of metal and wood with a floor that could be slid out for the removal of droppings and debris "without anyone risking their fingers," he said.

Actually, Hodges supervised fellow Scouts in the cages' construction rather than doing all the work himself, since the purpose of the Eagle Scout award is to encourage leadership and teach supervisory skills.

Organizing and leading his work crew was an interesting challenge and something new for him, he said.