BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Alex Stambaugh has been working toward the rank of Eagle Scout since the first grade. Now a senior at Maumee High School, he’s reached his goal.
In November, Alex completed his Eagle Scout service project at Cannonball Prairie Metropark. It was one of the final steps required to become an Eagle Scout.
According to Alex, a service project is a way to better the community while testing leadership abilities among other skills learned through Scouting.
“I think of it as being a good public servant – putting the good of the community before yourself, recognizing when things need to be fixed or cleaned up,” Alex said.
In order to complete a service project, Alex first had to come up with an idea for one.
He contacted Metroparks Toledo to see if there were any projects the staff needed done, and they informed him of a need at Cannonball Prairie Metropark.
Along the Wabash Cannonball Trail in the park, there are small camping sites for people to stop at overnight. Staff members asked Alex if he would install hammock posts at the sites.
“It’s a lot easier to bring a hammock than a tent when biking, so it would be convenient for bicyclists along with just offering an alternative to tents,” Alex said.
After surveying the site, Alex looked up regulations for installing the posts and determined the materials he would need.
He then gathered other Scouts from his troop and planned a day to complete the project. The people who helped him in November were instrumental in helping him become an Eagle Scout, he said.
Help from other people – and businesses, too – was vital for the project, he said.
“The place that gave me the tools to do the job was American Rent-All. They were great. I went in one Saturday and I said I was looking for an auger or something I could drill holes in the ground. They gave me advice and I said I was doing it for my Eagle project, and they said because I was doing an Eagle project, they could rent it to me for free for the day,” Alex said.
Having the tools donated for the day allowed him to complete the project sooner because he didn’t need to fundraise as much, and having the proper tools made the project much more efficient, he said.
The opportunity to do an Eagle project is also thanks, in part, to his parents, Alex added.
His mother, Sue, has supported him from the beginning and helped him stay motivated when he needed help balancing everything, he said. His dad, Nick, stayed involved with him, taking him to and attending meetings and giving him advice.
His parents have been supportive of him for the past decade while he worked his way through the ranks, Alex said.
“My Scoutmaster, Chris Jones, he’s been with me pretty much the whole way through. He’s been there checking in on me,” Alex said. “He’s been such a huge help.
Now that the project has been completed and Alex is officially an Eagle Scout, he knows the time he dedicated to Scouts was worth it, especially when he considers the lessons he learned along the way.
Time management was one of the most important skills he had to master, Alex shared. He had to learn how to balance his schooling, extracurriculars, a job and Scouts.
Scouts also taught him a lot of basic life skills through merit badges.
“I had to take merit badges for things like cooking, first aid, that kind of stuff,” Alex explained. “These basic life skills are just good to know when you’re on your own or when things go wrong.”
It’s also been a lot of fun – even the camping under tarps in the cold and caring for turtles. Overall, the camping trips have been some of his most memorable time as a Scout, Alex said.
His time with Troop 103 in Maumee has been fun and educational, he said. It’s taught him that he’s capable of achieving more than he thought and that he can be a good person who contributes to his community. He also knows it’s a big undertaking for those who might be considering Scouts, but he said if they manage their time well, prioritize and have fun, then it’s worth it.
“In the end, you get what you put into it,” Alex said.