Man, 70, finally gets Eagle Scout rank

CROSBY, ND (KXMB/CNN) - As they say - once a scout, always a scout.

That certainly holds true for Norman Sortland; the 70-year-old waited more than five decades to receive his Eagle Scout rank.

"It bugged me all these years, and I finally found out there was a belated Eagle application out there and I filled that in," Sortland said. "And it went through the ranks."

Sortland applied 53 years ago to receive the distinguished rank, a top honor only about 6 percent of Boy Scouts achieve today.

In Sortland's day it was even fewer, 1.29 percent to be exact. But something got missed all those years ago, A formality of sorts.

Sortland went away to college and got busy with life. Still, he felt something was missing all these years later.

"He said this to me over the phone. He said, 'This is my one bucket list item in retirement, so no pressure, whatsoever," said Stuart Langager, Great Plains District advancement chair, Boy Scouts Of America.

Sortland's wife Bonnie said she's far from surprised that he set out to get his Eagle Scout rank. When he sets his mind to something, he does it.

It was finally time for Sortland to fall into rank with those select few who have attained Eagle Scout status.

"(It was) more than worth the wait, definitely," Sortland said. "Elite group, isn't it? Yeah, it's great."

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