Scouting’s highest honor

Way back in 5th grade, current seniors Nick Lanza and Zach Willmes made a pact—a pact to not only both become Eagle Scouts (the highest rank on can earn in the Boy Scouts of America), but to achieve their Eagle Scout recognition at the same time. On December 11th, the Seniors’ promise was realized as both were recognized by the Board of Review as official Eagle Scouts. In order to reach the rank of Eagle, the scouts had to demonstrate their leadership skills through the form of a project benefiting any religion group, school, or community. Lanza’s project consisted of widening a 900 foot nature trail in Story Woods Park—located behind Rapid Run Middle School in Delhi Township. With the help of 31 volunteers, Lanza cleared away debris and overgrowth—making the trail safer for community members. On top of improving the existing trail, Lanza and his group of volunteers constructed a stone staircase in the side of the hill which now makes the dirt trail more accessible from the main gravel trails in Story Woods. Willmes’ project, on the complete other side of the spectrum, was to build three portable confessionals for Our Lady of Victory and St. Teresa of Avila parishes. These confessionals allow the parishes to have more stations at their reconciliation services for priests to hear the parishioners’ confessions; thus, shortening the length of time spent waiting in line. Through their projects, both Lanza and Willmes showed that they have the necessary leadership capabilities required to attain the Eagle Scout rank. At his Board of Review, Lanza explained what the trail to Eagle has meant to him by saying, “Scouting has given me countless life lessons, skills, and qualities that I have already used and that I will continue to use for the rest of my life. Scouting has taught me how to lead, how to be a man of good faith, a good citizen, and overall a good person.” Likewise, Scouting has taught Willmes many life lessons too. “Scouting is all about being faithful to God and the other Boy Scouts” explains Willmes. “Advancing through the ranks and becoming an Eagle Scout has already meant a lot to me.” On Sunday March 3rd, Willmes’ and Lanza’s hard work was recognized by the friends and family of Boy Scout Troop 909 in the format of an Eagle Scout Court of Honor at the Our Lady of Victory Convocation Center. During this ceremony, many speakers from Troop 909 spoke about the hard work and dedication required to reach the rank of Eagle Scout. Senior Trent Younts, also a member of Boy Scout Troop 909, was one of the Scout Speakers at the Court of Honor. Younts spoke about the scout rank of Star, and the lessons taught during this phase of scouting. “It’s really inspiring to see my fellow scouts achieve the highest Boy Scout rank,” explained Younts. “As a member of Troop 909, I know how much work and dedication goes into attaining this honor. I am really proud of both Nick and Zach for obtaining such success within Scouts.” We at The Purple Quill wish Troop 909’s 41st and 42nd Eagles continued success as they finish out their high school careers at Elder and begin collegiate life in the fall.