Eagle Scouts hit the mark with projects
January 21, 2011
WIESBADEN, Germany - One project will eventually be riddled with holes. The other project just went to the dogs.
But that's exactly what two Eagle Scouts intended when they finished their community service projects this summer.
Wiesbaden teens Drew Parker and Colin Strout took the Eagle Scout oath Dec. 21 during a ceremony at the Hainerberg Chapel.
To receive the rank of Eagle Scout each boy had to earn 21 merit badges, serve six months in a troop leadership position, develop and implement a community service project and complete an Eagle Scout board of review.
Parker committed 26 hours to building new air rifle and archery targets for the Rheinblick shooting range.
Strout spent 55 hours building two obstacles for the Military Police working dogs in Mainz-Kastel.
Dogs and marksmen aside, the boys believe their projects will benefit the entire community.
"Anybody who shoots at the range will benefit," wrote Parker in his service project workbook, "Outdoor Recreation, Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, Boy and Girl Scouts, the JROTC and the Wiesbaden outdoor community as a whole."
The previous archery stands were in disrepair and the site had no air rifle targets, noted Parker. Following detailed schematics for the targets, Parker cut out the wooden target stands himself.
After assembling one of each target, Parker put the pieces into something like a target stand kit with the appropriate hardware so that the Scouts helping him could then easily assemble them.
Parker's project cost $226 and was paid for with a grant from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 27.
"Of course the dogs (will benefit)," Strout wrote in his service project workbook. But the two newly constructed training obstacles - an A-frame climbing obstacle and a window hurdle obstacle - will also benefit the military dog handlers.
The previous obstacles were "wobbly and very worn out due to constant use," Strout wrote, adding that the military working dog unit was traveling every two weeks to use a course at a different installation for training.
Strout received a $1,000 grant from the Wiesbaden Community Spouses Club for the project. The working dog unit was going to replace the training equipment but was still waiting for funding, Strout wrote.
Parker and Strout each received a letter of congratulations from Maj. Gen. Terry Wolff, 1st Armored Division commander, for earning the Eagle Scout rank.
From 1912 to 2009, about 2 million boys have earned the title of Eagle Scout. In 2009 about 5 percent of all Boy Scouts earned the Eagle Scout award.
Parker thanked his parents and Scout leader upon earning the prestigious rank. "These are the guys who helped me through my scouting career," said Parker.
To the room full of Eagle Scouts, Strout said "making it to you was not easy."
Strout then thanked his mother and mentors for their help in attaining his Eagle Scout rank.
"Being an Eagle Scout is indescribable," said Strout. "It's something that will never leave me."