Troop 194 Recognizes Three New Eagle Scouts
By: David Deschesne
Fort Fairfield Journal, November 25, 2015
Three young men from Fort Fairfield's Boy Scout Troop 194 were recently awarded the Eagle Award in a ceremony held at Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle. Dalton Cassidy, Thomas Krause and Lance McKenney have been a part of Troop 194 for six and a half years.
The Eagle Award is the highest and most coveted rank in scouting, the last major step in the advanced program. Only two percent of the scouts in the U.S. ever reach the rank of Eagle Scout. To become an Eagle Scout a scout must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, including 12 of which are required. He must serve actively in a troop leadership position for a period of six months after achieving the rank of Life Scout. While a Life Scout, he must plan, develop and carry out a service project for either a religious institution, school, or community in a manner worthy of an Eagle Scout. He must demonstrate through the testimony of character references that he lives by the principles of the scout oath and law in his daily life. Finally, he must appear before a board of review.
Dalton Cassidy has earned 22 merit badges. Over the years he's served as a Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, Troop Guide and Order of the Arrow Representative. Dalton's Eagle Project was building two soccer field dugout shelters for Fort Fairfield High School.
“I think these dugouts will be around for many years to come and hopefully the Rec Program will be able to use them as well when they play games up there in the Fall,” said Cassidy.
Dalton says his most memorable scouting experience was canoeing and kayaking in the Allagash over four days. He says the Allagash is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Lance McKenney has earned 24 merit badges and over the years has served as a Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, and Order of the Arrow Representative. Lance's Eagle Project was erecting a flagpole with landscaping and lighting at the entrance to Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle. “I decided to do my Eagle Scout project at the entrance to Nordic Heritage Center because I've been training and skiing with the Maine Winter Sports Center for the last ten years and it's been a huge impact on my life,” said McKenney. “So, I thought I'd give back to the Center by enhancing the entrance for the upcoming World Cup that's going to be here in February.”
Lance says his Eagle scout project was the most memorable scouting event in his career as a scout.
Thomas Krause has earned 21 merit badges and over the years has served as Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader. Thomas' Eagle Project was building a concessions stand in the soccer field at Fort Fairfield High School. “I chose that because I've been playing soccer for Fort Fairfield since I was in sixth grade and people were complaining that there's no concession stand like other schools have so if there are any vendors who wish to fundraise, they have to set up a tarp which at best just covers the top of their head and there's really no warmth,” said Krause. “When I was in eighth grade I heard the school was thinking about it and I figured I'd do my part for my Eagle Scout project to see if I could make that happen.”
Thomas describes his most memorable scouting experience as his first Winterama where they fashioned an igloo and slept outside during a couple of nights in the winter at Aroostook State Park.
During an Eagle Award Ceremony, the new inductees give a Mentor pin to the person who has most influenced them in their teenage years. Traditionally that person is either a parent, pastor or teacher. But this particular group of Eagle Scouts all choose their former scoutmaster, Robert Bixler as their mentor.
Cassidy said Mr. Bixler helped me through his whole career in scouting. “He helped me a whole lot throughout the years and while I was trying to do my project, the planning and everything. There were a couple different nights when I ended up going over to his house and he would help me with the plan . He brought a whole lot of knowledge to my project and the planning of it.”
McKenney said of Mr. Bixler, “I chose Mr. Bixler because of his leadership and his patience with us because we were eleven when we joined and weren't very attentive. He was patient with us and helped us along the way, helped us earn our merit badges. I also went to his house, like Dalton, and got help on my project and I just really appreciate that.”
Krause said Bixler stood out to him as a man of great Christian Faith. “My mentor definitely was a good religious role model. He did a lot for me in scouting and leadership. This is a man who lived God in his everyday life and I remember when I came home from the summer scout camp we had a talk and you could definitely tell he had God in his life and he inspires me to do the same.”
Approximately seventy people attended the ceremony where a nice lunch was provided afterward.
The new scoutmaster for Troop 194 is Robert Cullins.
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