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Eagle Scout project to benefit Hollister Chamber

Thanks to a local Boy Scout, the Hollister Area Chamber of Commerce office at 2527 S. Business U.S. 65 in Hollister will soon get some sprucing up and a new deck, porch and walkway area. Hunter Wasielewski, 13, is currently planning the workdays as his Eagle Scout service project.

 

The rank of Eagle is the most coveted award in Scouting, and not an easy task to achieve; since the award’s inception in 1912, just slightly over 2 percent of eligible Scouts have made it to Eagle, although the number is gradually trending upward, at around 6 percent in recent years. “Eagle Scout” is highly respected on a resumé, and a quick online search of “famous Eagle Scouts” includes notables ranging from rock and roll guitarists to U.S. Presidents.

 

To achieve each successive rank advancement, Boy Scouts earn merit badges for a variety of practical, social, athletic and job-preparation skills, and even those who don’t make it to Eagle attest to the value of their Scouting experiences. The rank of Eagle requires 21 such merit badges, 14 specifically required for Eagle and the remainder per the Scout’s interests.

 

In addition to merit badges, a Scout must serve actively in a leadership position in their troop; be active in their school, faith group, or community, with favorable feedback from adult leaders in those institutions; and plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to a religious institution, school, nonprofit, or other community entity. The Eagle Project puts into practice all of the public speaking, writing, organizational and leadership skills gained through meeting other requirements.

 

As Hunter approached the planning stages, his dad, Don, suggested some community contacts about possible needs, but the rest has been up to Hunter: Permits, paperwork, soliciting donations to cover costs, scheduling and other details, including answering questions politely and professionally for this article. “I wanted him to choose something that would challenge him, something a little outside his comfort zone,” said Don of his son’s project.

 

Hunter is currently active in Troop 201, which meets in Ozark, while also transitioning to an Arkansas troop in Harrison since he will be attending Subiaco Academy in Arkansas next year. He says his family has been super-supportive, and his two older brothers are also Eagle Scouts. Asked to name some favorite Scout activities, Hunter promptly replied, “Campouts, especially winter campouts.” As his most challenging, he mentioned “climbing” and “public speaking.”

 

Hunter tackled the public speaking challenge on Thursday, April 11, when he was invited by Hollister Chamber Director John Hagey to share his project idea with Chamber members at the group’s monthly luncheon meeting. He did a great job presenting the information, and after the meeting, was excited to receive donations of over $200 from members, a nice boost toward his goal of $2,000 for project supplies and expenses.

 

Work on the project will begin Saturday April 27, with a clean-up day in the Chamber office basement area and tear-out of old wood. Weather permitting, work will continue on May 4 with digging and placing concrete footings; construction will then take place on May 11 and May 18.

 

Anyone wanting to help with this project can contact the Chamber office, 417-334-3050, to donate; or email Don Wasielewski at don@bransonknights.com to ask Hunter about other ways you can help.

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