Gene Kloss, current senior at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, is an aspiring Eagle Scout who designed an unusual Eagle Scout Service Project to creatively solve a problem, all the while protecting a delicate ecosystem.

The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science is housed on the Mississippi University of Women’s campus. Along with juniors and seniors from all across the Magnolia State, a colony of bats also calls this same campus home. Currently, the bat population on campus assists with mosquite prevention and management, as bats typically consume 1,000 mosquitos every evening. In attempt to reroute the bats to less densely populated areas of campus, Kloss conceived of an Eagle Scout project to encourage the bats to rehome near uninhabited buildings on campus. He designed a set of bat boxes to affix to abandoned buildings on campus to attract bats to these spaces and away from academic buildings and residential halls.

The designation of Eagle Scout is highly prestigious, as only 4% of Scouts ever achieve this award. In order to qualify as an Eagle Scout candidate, active scouts must have achieved Life Rank, must demonstrate how they embody the prinicples of the Scout Oath and Scout Law in their daily lives through service to their troop. They must also earn a total of 21 merit badges in key areas such as first aid, emergency preparedness, citizenship, personal fitness, camping, environmental science and more. The culmination of Eagle Scout application process is the Eagle Scout Service Project. Aspiring Eagle Scouts must plan, develop, and lead a service project that benefits their school, their community, or their religious institution. All Eagle Scout application requirement smust be completed before the Scout’s eighteenth birthday.

Now that Mr. Kloss’ service project is complete, he must finalize his Eagle Scout Application and prepare for his presentation before the Board of Review. During this meeting, Mr. Kloss will submit is completed application along with six character references, a statement of his ambitions and life purpose, as well as an account of his leadership positions and additional honors or awards.