BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Scout Troop 101 is making an impact on the community, with Eagle Scout candidates restoring fire hydrants, building beds for children, creating a giant chessboard and installing duck boxes.
Rowan Croak, Tyler Horvath, Klayton Knapp, Jake Metzger and Luke Yokum have finished their Eagle Scout projects. All joined Scouts while in elementary school and have stayed with the program because of the opportunities for adventure and learning. Eagle Scout projects must be completed by the Scout’s 18th birthday and include hands-on help from other Scouts.
As a middle-schooler, Jake Metzger remembers looking at the large chess set outside the former Granite City Diner at The Shops at Fallen Timbers and being inspired.
“I knew that’s what I wanted to do as my Eagle Scout project,” he said of the set, which he played on until it was removed last year.
Now a large chess board is ready for play in Conrad Park. For the project, he did the design and had gravel donated by Weber Sand and Stone while Pahl Concrete donated cement mix. He sawed lines in the concrete to mark the squares, which he and fellow Scouts painted black and white.
“It was a learning experience, that’s for sure,” he said.
The biggest expense was purchasing the large chess pieces for $450. The tallest, the king, is 24 inches. He hopes to have another Scout build a box to hold the chess pieces on site.
He hopes to hold a ceremonial first game against Mayor Tim Pedro before it’s too cold.
“I’m decent,” he said of his chess-playing abilities.
Jake said Scouts has taught him public speaking and leadership skills. He said he loved Sea Base but also Camp Daniel Boone and the regular treks to the local Camp Miakonda with other area Scouts.
A senior at Anthony Wayne High School, Jake plans to attend The University of Toledo.
Rowan Croak created ecosystems for the fish in the new pond at Cannonball Prairie Metropark on Monclova Road. He raised funds to purchase and construct environmentally safe fishing habitats that were submerged into the water. He also planted native flowering palms around the perimeter of the pond to facilitate flowering water garden areas. A few weeks after installing the habitats in August, Rowan snorkeled out and confirmed the habitats are being used by fry and juvenile fish in shallow water and adult fish in deep water.
“During COVID, people definitely used the parks more, so my hope was to get kids into fishing,” Rowan said.
Rowan donated the remaining $2,000 from his fundraising to Metroparks Toledo, said park system spokesman Scott Carpenter, who added that a plaque in Rowan’s honor will be installed on the park’s bridge.
Rowan loves fishing and boating and serves as an outdoor ethics guide with the troop. Through Scouts, Rowan said he’s enjoyed summer campouts, where he’s learned life skills and had fun with fellow Scouts. A trip to Sea Base in Florida was among his favorite trips because of the focus on scuba diving, and he was able to see many different species of fish.
Rowan is a sophomore at St. John’s Jesuit High School, where he is part of the ski club and Magis Society and coxswain for the crew team. He plans to join the robotics team and National Chinese Honor Society during the offseason. After graduation, he plans to major in engineering and work in the aerospace field.
Thanks to Tyler Horvath, 15 children are no longer sleeping on the floor.
Through Let’s Build Beds, a nonprofit organization based out of Waterville, Tyler and fellow Scouts turned piles of lumber into 15 beds for children who didn’t have one. A.E. Electric donated the lumber and Waterville Hardware donated the fasteners for the project.
Scouting has given Tyler plenty of skills and adventures, he said.
“I have learned how to tie knots and start fires, but I’ve also learned how to speak better and present myself better,” Tyler said. “I’ve gone many different places with Scouts, such as Philmont, Sea Base and Daniel Boone. My favorite was Sea Base, where we got to shark fish, snorkel, deep sea fish and other fun activities.”
A senior at Penta Career Center, Tyler is in the automotive tech program, currently learning how to diagnose basic electrical problems in cars. After graduation, he plans to get a job with a car dealership. Tyler also plays soccer and is a member of the Anthony Wayne crew.
Klayton Knapp restored fire hydrants in his Waterville neighborhood and created a PowerPoint presentation that demonstrates how to restore three different types of hydrants so that others will get involved.
For his project, Klayton used a wire brush to scrape, rinse and apply up to three coats of paint to 20 hydrants. The repainting is vital, not just for beautification but also for visibility. After the project, Klayton created kits with the PowerPoint presentation and all of the supplies needed to complete a hydrant.
“I would love for the community to take a little time to make their hydrants new again,” he said, noting that the kits are available through the Waterville fire chief and public works director.
Klayton said his favorite aspect of Scouting is the ability to go on adventures he otherwise wouldn’t do, such as Philmont, a two-week backpacking trip in Cimarron, N.M.
“It was an adventure I’ll never forget,” he said.
At Florida Sea Base, he and his fellow Scouts paddled in war canoes on the ocean from the mainland to Big Munson Island, where they stayed for a week. He’s also hiked the Red River Gorge, New River area and Summit Bechtel Reserve and he’s camped out in the wintertime.
“These adventures were memories that will last forever, and I’m grateful that Scouting allowed me to do them.”
At Anthony Wayne High School, Klayton was involved in student council, Link Crew, Interact Club, National Honor Society, hockey and baseball. He graduated early to play hockey in Green Bay, Wis., and recently moved to Minnesota to play with the Austin Bruins of the North American Hockey League.
Luke Yokum and fellow Scouts learned about gun safety and conservation at Wolf Creek Sportsmen’s Association in Curtice. It was there that Luke decided to focus his Eagle project, building and installing eight wood duck houses on the 40-acre property during a camping weekend with other Scouts.
Luke joined Scouts in first grade and said he’s gained many skills over the years, including rifle shooting, cooking, camping, leadership and public speaking.
“I love all of the adventures, the stories and the stuff you learn,” he said.
His favorite adventures included treks to Philmont in New Mexico and Sea Base in Florida, which he described as “long and fun.”
A senior at Anthony Wayne High School, Luke plays the saxophone and baritone sax for the Marching Generals and in the symphonic winds band. After graduation, he plans to study information technology at The University of Toledo.