A Gibault Catholic High School senior recently completed the most time-consuming step in earning scouting’s highest honor.
“It’s very rewarding to be done with the project and just have the last few things left to do,” Paden Schultz said.
Schultz has been involved with the Boy Scouts of America since he joined the Cub Scouts in first grade.
Since he was relatively new to the organization, he knew he wanted his Eagle Scout project to be at the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park, Mo.
“I’ve always kind of had this connection to it. I love animals,” he said.
Schults achieved the goal, as the member of Boy Scout Troop 9 in Belleville reopened the east section of the Turble Bob hiking trail at the sanctuary.
That project involved clearing the overgrown trailhead, digging a trench, securing posts, clearing various areas of the trail including a part that leads to a pavilion, replacing an old gate and mulching the entire project area.
All told, the project took about 150 work hours, including help from Brad Horn.
Still, Schultz said the most onerous aspect was the one he completed last week.
“The paperwork was actually the hardest part,” he lightheartedly said.
After he officially attains scouting’s highest rank and graduates from Gibault – including a Court of Honor ceremony that will include an American bald eagle – Schultz said he plans to attend Southern Illinois University Carbondale to study zoology.
He also plans to remain active in the BSA, possibly by joining a new troop in Carbondale.