Rigby teen organizes blood drive as Eagle Scout project - East Idaho News
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Rigby teen organizes blood drive as Eagle Scout project

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RIGBY — Landon Ellis is a senior at Rigby High School. He organized a blood drive, in partnership with the Red Cross, that exceeded his goal of generating 50 blood donors.

The blood drive, Ellis explained, was a project to satisfy the final merit badge he needed before becoming an Eagle Scout.

Ellis, whose grandfather, uncles and father are all Eagle Scouts, joined the Cub Scouts about 10 years ago as an extracurricular through his church. When the church began to limit its work with the scouts, he stayed with it, though.

“I want to go to college and get a good job, so I thought, why not get that award and be able to put it on my resume,” he told EastIdahoNews.com.

The only thing left on Ellis’ path to that resume fodder is the final waiting period, after his successful blood drive Thursday. As he explained, the goal he and the Red Cross set for the drive was 50 donations. They got more than 65.

Ellis spread word about the drive through word of mouth — telling friends, people at his school and people at his church. But he also posted on Facebook Rigby groups and put up flyers at local businesses.

When he isn’t studying and working toward his Eagle Scout badge, Ellis helps out on his family’s farm, caring for horses, cows, chickens, geese and other small animals. He is also a scarer at a local haunted house and works during the summer for a concrete curbing company in Rigby.

After his senior year, Ellis plans to go to college and eventually law school — he is currently considering University of Idaho and BYU-Provo. He wants to follow in the footsteps of his uncles.

“I’m thinking of going into law — I’m still trying to decide which area in law, but something,” he said.

Asked if he could see himself in court, arguing a criminal case, Ellis responded with a resounding “yes.” He said that he has no problem talking and believes he could handle the pressure of the job.

The communication skills Ellis believes to be so important are among the things he learned as a scout — with the biggest of which being a solid work ethic. Additionally, he says the relationships he has developed over the last decade have been incredible. There were scouts and scout leaders he hadn’t seen in years who showed up for his blood drive.

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said of the scouts. “I’ve gained a lot of friends through (scouts), gained a lot of skills — I can do a lot more things now than I think I would have been able to do if I didn’t do (scouts).”