By Karl Weisel (IMCOM)February 11, 2014
WIESBADEN, Germany - Improving a drainage and erosion problem on a World War I memorial trail, constructing a dog obstacle course, restoring a fruit orchard -- sound like jobs for engineers?
These were among the many service projects performed by members of Troop 107 on their way to earning Eagle Scout recognition.
Six new Eagles were welcomed to the ranks by fellow Eagles of all ages during an Eagle Scout Court of Honor Jan. 31 at the Hainerberg Chapel. Joshua Fischer, a senior at Wiesbaden High School; junior Ricky Pickering; and sophomores Peter Kalis, Kristopher Smith, Gavin Ingels and Cameron Noble celebrated their accomplishments with parents and friends at the ceremony.
"It's a wonderful array of projects that these Scouts have done," said Dr. Robert Schloesser, vice president of the Transatlantic Council of Boy Scout of America and a fellow Eagle.
Eagle projects ranged from designing and constructing a high school-sized pitching mound to renovating and painting the Hainerberg Chapel basement, building a new snake enclosure for Wiesbaden High School to improving the Sergeant York Trail in France.
"It wasn't easy -- but it wasn't meant to be easy," said Jeff Stone, Troop 107 scoutmaster, adding, "I'm very proud of you."
Stone has guided 55 Scouts in his charge to the prestigious Scouting honor in the past decade. "It's great to watch these kids accomplish this. The easy route is you just stop. You can see from the statistics that 97 percent of those who start Scouting quit."
"It's something that will stay with you for the rest of your life," Stone said; "the trail doesn?'t end here. … There is no such thing as a former Eagle Scout."
Kalis, who joins three older siblings among Scouting's elite ranks, said, "It feels great. It's a great achievement for me."
He also thanked his parents and Scout leaders for their encouragement and assistance.
Ingels, who said he's wanted to become an Eagle ever since being a Tiger Scout, thanked his father, himself a former Boy Scout, for helping motivate him. He added that he was glad to have earned the Eagle rank for himself and his father.
"I've been a Scout in Troop 107 for seven years," said Pickering, who started as a Cub Scout in Hawaii. "Troop 107 helped me grow into the person I am today."
All of the new Eagles vowed to continue serving others and to mentor their younger peers in Scouting.