To achieve the highest rank of Eagle for the Boy Scouts of America, one member of Troop 250 in Perryville has nearly completed the required leadership project necessary to nab the prestigious status — a project that’s visible from Highway 51.
Over the weekend, scout member Colt Wahl, 15, along with several of his fellow scouts and sponsors, erected an Eagle Scout monument that proudly sits on the hill at the intersection of Edgemont Boulevard and Highway 51.
The monument, and the lengthy process leading up to its completion, were all part of Wahl’s leadership project, of which his father and scout master Danny Wahl says took serious time, effort, funds and, of course, leadership.
“The main objective is to show leadership, and over the weekend, Colt Wahl acted as sort of the supervisor,” said Danny Wahl. “They don’t want them doing most of the project, but rather, leading it.”
For several months, Colt Wahl had to make many deliberate, thought-out steps for his project, including seeking the Perryville Board of Aldermen’s approval late last year, as well as approval from the then-scout master and the Boy Scout council.
Then, fundraising and soliciting sponsorship came into play, either financially or material-wise. Colt Wahl’s list of sponsors is impressive, to say the least, and when it came to raising money, the 15-year-old sold Little Caesar’s pizzas, adding to any other monetary funds that may have come his way.
Colt Wahl said planning and fundraising was perhaps the most difficult aspects of the project, but he got it done.
Danny Wahl said acquiring Eagle status is rare, citing that less than 2 percent of scouts are able to do this. Colt Wahl could fall in that 2 percent, and his father couldn’t be more proud.
“He did an excellent job as far as managing his people [at the site] and sticking to a solid schedule,” Danny Wahl said.
In a matter of roughly six hours Saturday, Colt Wahl, select troop members and sponsors tackled the bare mound of grass at the intersection and, by 4:30 p.m., they had completed their rock garden.
“It came out really good,” Colt Wahl said. “Everybody did a great job this weekend. I think it also brightens up the area a little, too.”
The rock garden monument boasts a four-ton boulder with a broad-winged eagle standing on top. A plaque against the boulder reads, “Eagle Scout Project by Colt A. Wahl, Troop 250,” and a wooden banner in front reads, “Celebrating 100 Years of Boy Scouts, 1910-2010.” A gravel garden encircles the boulder and signage.
Colt Wahl chose the monument as his project for one simple reason. “It let’s people know around the community that scouting is still an option for kids,” he said. “It let’s people know what scouts can really do.”
Both Danny Wahl and Colt Wahl said the project couldn’t have been possible without the help of several sponsors and donors, which include VFW Post 4282, TG Missouri, Brewer Graphics and Monuments, Buchheits, Concrete Castings of Fruitland, EarthWorks, Rob Roy Nursery & Landscape, Christisen Excavating, Gerringer Farms and Take This Job and Stuff It Taxidermy.
To receive final approval of his project, Colt Wahl spent hours over the weekend filling out all the necessary paperwork. During the Boy Scouts Court of Honor in May, Colt Wahl should receive the last four merit badges of the required 12. If he receives those, he can then submit his paperwork to the Eagle Scout board for review.