Gets an Eagle Scout Badge

With the help of his fellow Boy Scouts in Troop 136, Richard Malik Atkinson completed the last stage of his Eagle Scout qualifications by building 20 bat houses like the one held by his mother, Dorothy Malik Atkinson. Janis Hewitt

Richard Malik Atkinson, 20, became an Eagle Scout, the highest award in scouting, at a ceremony on Sunday at the Montauk Firehouse.

Boy Scouts who reach that level must create a project that will benefit the community. Mr. Atkinson built and erected 20 bat houses, which could mean fewer bothersome insects in Montauk this summer. Bats catch mosquitos, spiders, flies, and other insects.

The houses were placed throughout the hamlet, mostly near wetlands, including Stanley’s Pond in Culloden Shores, Montauk County Park at Third House, and Deep Hollow Ranch, where mosquitos thrive.

Although it was Mr. Atkinson’s project, his entire Troop 136 helped to put the bat houses together. Local businesses donated funding to buy the needed supplies, and Jim Grimes of Fort Pond Native Plants supplied the posts, some of which are 20 feet high.

The houses were installed with the help of parent volunteers and Shawn Tyrell, the assistant scout leader.

The new Eagle Scout has been in scouting since he was 6 years old, when he became a tiger cub, as the younger ones are called.

On Sunday, he received a badge and a medal, signifying his new status.