When it comes to reaching the Boy Scouts of America's highest rank, a trio from southern Delaware County are three of a kind.

Kennedy Franz, Max Hathaway and Kyle Manns, who have scouted together since they were in second grade, each earned the rank of Eagle Scout within weeks of one another earlier this year.

Franz, an 18-year-old senior at Olentangy High School, said rising through the ranks with his friends helped inspire his efforts to become an Eagle Scout.

"It was more motivation," he said. "It was like, they're pushing for it. I need to push for it, too."

Hathaway, a 17-year-old senior at Olentangy Liberty High School, said he and his friends share qualities such as honesty and a strong work ethic.

He said he and his friends have differences, too. He views himself as "more of a quiet leader," while he sees Franz and Manns as more outgoing.

"It's just fun to have them around," he said. "They're really great guys."

Manns, a 17-year-old senior at Liberty, said meeting friends through Scouting helped him get "invested in it." He said the camaraderie kept him involved in the program.

All three Scouts completed a community-focused project as part of their efforts to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

Manns crafted 30 "bat boxes" for the city of Powell. He said city officials directed him toward the project, which helps protect the insect-eaters and the places they usually call home.

"(The bats) have a place to stay and they don't hurt the trees," he said of the boxes.

Hathaway, who plays trumpet, designed and built uniform cabinets for use by the marching band at Liberty.

"I kind of just wanted to give back to the band because it's given so much to me," he said.

Franz built a paver patio outside Cheshire Elementary School, which he hopes can be used for outdoor lessons. He said he wanted to do something to benefit a school that meant a lot to him.

All three credited their fellow Scouts in Troop 488 with helping them complete their projects.

The trio also view the lessons they learned in Scouts as important to their futures.

Manns, who has not decided where he will attend college, said Scouting taught him about leadership.

"It taught me to take more responsibility," he said.

Franz, who said he one day wants to attend medical school, said he learned similar lessons.

"We take on a lot of responsibility," he said. "(Scouting) teaches a lot of leadership skills."

Hathaway, who plans to study computer science, unsurprisingly has a comparable take.

"I find myself being more responsible with deadlines and motivating myself to get things done," he said.

Franz said he would advise fellow Scouts attempting to reach the Eagle Scout rank to show persistence.

"Push yourself," he said. "Just have fun with it and know your Scoutmaster and assistant Scoutmaster are there to help you."

tgallick@thisweeknews.com

@twgallick