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Published: Saturday, 12/2/2006

For this Scouting family, 8 is enough

BY JC REINDL
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Ben Tipping, with parents Gary and Irene, will be the eighth family member (including a foster brother) to be an Eagle Scout. Ben Tipping, with parents Gary and Irene, will be the eighth family member (including a foster brother) to be an Eagle Scout.
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When Benjamin Tipping receives his Eagle Scout award today, he will earn his family a place in local Scouting history.

Benjamin, 18, will become the seventh member of his family to achieve this highest rank of the Boy Scouts of America, and the eighth member to do so if you include his foster brother, Benjamin Jackson.

That sets a record for the Erie Shores Council, which includes Boy Scout troops in five counties, including Benjamin's Troop 777 out of Freedom Church, West Toledo.

"To have seven boys and even a foster kid go through it - that's unheard of," said Kym Sloan, the council's Northwest District executive.

How did Guy and Irene Tipping of West Toledo successfully keep their eight teens on task through hundreds of hours of requisite Scouting commitments and community service for an honor only about 5 percent of all Boy Scouts achieve?

The trick, Mr. Tipping said, was finding the right motivation. "I made it a rule that they couldn't get their driver's license until they make Eagle," he said. "It seemed to work well."

Benjamin Tipping, second from right, will join his six brothers in the distinction of being an Eagle Scout tonight. From left are brothers Joseph, Daniel, and Edmumd; mother, Irene; brother Jeremiah; father, Gary; sister, Andrea, and brother Peter. At far right is Benjamin s brother Matthew. A foster brother, Benjamin Jackson, not pictured, also is an Eagle Scout. Benjamin Tipping, second from right, will join his six brothers in the distinction of being an Eagle Scout tonight. From left are brothers Joseph, Daniel, and Edmumd; mother, Irene; brother Jeremiah; father, Gary; sister, Andrea, and brother Peter. At far right is Benjamin s brother Matthew. A foster brother, Benjamin Jackson, not pictured, also is an Eagle Scout.
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Did it ever.

The Tippings' eldest son, Matthew, now 35, recalled how once his dad set the rule while he was a Scout in the 1980s, he worked toward the required 21 badges as quickly as possible.

"I tried to make sure that it didn't interfere with getting my license at 16," he said.

Yet not all the Tippings could get behind the wheel so quickly. Some didn't snag their Eagle - and their license - until after their 17th birthday. A few had to wait until they were 18.

Benjamin, who capped off his scouting career with a project that landscaped the Servant Leadership Center in North Toledo, was 18 when he became licensed in September.

That same month, he passed his Board Review, the final hurdle to becoming an Eagle Scout. He said he relied upon buddies to get around town until then.

"I bummed a lot of rides," the Toledo Christian School graduate said. "I lost a lot of gas money [paying] friends."

Benjamin is to receive his Eagle Scout award at 7 p.m. today at Freedom Church, 5132 Harvest Lane.

Ms. Sloan said it is hard to tell by available records whether the Tippings and their boys - Matthew, Edmund, Daniel, Peter, Jeremiah, Joseph, Benjamin, and Benjamin Jackson - have set a new mark for the state. However, she has heard of families in parts of the country in which 11 or 12 children have become Eagle Scouts.



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