Gilk, Meagher earn Eagle Scout honors

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 03/04/97.

Following a strong tradition of Scouting in Paynesville, Steve Gilk, 15, and Casey Meagher, 18, will be awarded Scoutings highest honor, the Eagle Scout ranking, on Saturday, March 8.

In 1996, five other Paynesville Boy Scouts were awarded Eagle Scout honors: Ryan Louis, Mike Putzke, Jeff Skrypek, Jamie Gilk, and David Scheierl. The Eagle Scout ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at the St. Louis Catholic Church, Paynesville.

Meagher began his trail to Eagle in 1986 when he joined the Cub Scouts. He completed the ranks of bobcat, wolf, bear and webelo and in March of 1990, he became a member of Boy Scout Troop #34. He advanced through the Boy Scout ranks under the leadership of Scoutmasters Tom Scheierl, Mike Klein and Leo Louis. As he advanced through the ranks, Meagher earned 21 merit badges that were required for the Eagle status.

For his Eagle Scout project, Meagher constructed ďWelcome to PaynesvilleĒ signs and planters at the entrances to Paynesville on Highways 23 and 55. The project was funded by the Paynesville Area Chamber of Commerce.

ďI tried to construct one sign a week, last summer,Ē Meagher said. Adrian Louis helped him select plants for the various soil types and locations of the planters. Troy Stang and Rick Paul, Chamber officers, helped with the details of sign location and gaining easements for the signs from property owners.

When asked what he learned through his Eagle Scout project, Meagher replied, ďSome projects may sound simple, but there is more work involved than many realize.Ē Meagher watered the planters all summer to ensure the plants had a good start.

Meagher said he enjoyed Scouting and taking part in outdoor activities and camping with the group. ďI learned in Scouting, that once you start something, you finish it. Iím glad I finished Scouting,Ē he added.

Meagher was the 1996 Legion Boys Stater which gave him the opportunity to represent Paynesville at St. Olaf College for a week. In school he has served on the student council since middle school and has participated in band, choir, peer helpers and D.A.R.E. Meagher has also competed in football, track, baseball and wrestling at one time or another.

Meagher is active in his church, St. Louis Catholic Church, where he has been a substitute teacher for religious education classes and an altar boy since elementary school. He has helped with the canoeing program at Girl Scout Day Camp and Cub Scout Day Camp for more than four years with Jim OíFallon.

The son of Pat and Lorie Meagher, Paynesville, Meagher is enrolled at the Hutchinson Campus of Ridgewater College under the post-secondary enrollment option. He plans to finish the two-year course in nondestructive testing and perhaps get a four-year degree.

Steve Gilk moved through the ranks of Scouting in much the same way as Meagher. For his Eagle Scout project he organized an organ donor program in Paynesville, educating area residents on the importance of the donor program. He spoke to school groups and classes, handed out literature at the Town and Country Days Parade, Peepers Picnic, and at local clinics. He also set up a window display on the organ donor program.

ďI learned how to organize for a major project and the value it has to different people,Ē Gilk said. ďI found the Eagle ranking worth the challenge as it was a good learning experience.Ē

Gilk is a member of the ninth grade basketball team, an honor roll student, member of the school choir, and competed in little league baseball in Roscoe. He has helped with the Roscoe Fun Days and Early Childhood Family Education summer school.

The son of Don and Diane Gilk, he has worked at Cub Scout Day camps, was the Senior Patrol leader on the Boy Scout trip to Medicine Mountain at the Black Hills last summer. Gilk will also serve as the patrol leader for the scenic council for the Boy Scout trip to the National Jamboree July 24 to Aug. 5.

Both boys have received letters of congratulations from President Clinton, Senators David Minge and Rod Grams, and Governor Carlson, to name a few. They have both worked at the American Legion suppers, Lions Chili Feed, walked ditches with the Legion and helped at church dinners.

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