Scouts earn Eagle rank

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 9/10/96.

After years of fun and work in the Boy Scouts, James Gilk, 17, and Jeff Skrypek, 18, Paynesville, have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest and most coveted rank in scouting. They will receive this distinction in a special ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 15, at 3 p.m. at St. Louis Catholic Church, Paynesville. The Scouts are the sons of Don and Diane Gilk and Don and Lorraine Skrypek.

To achieve the ranking of Eagle Scout, the boys needed to have completed a community project approved by the Boy Scout Council. Their trail to Eagle began when they were Tiger Cubs in first grade. They progressed through the ranks of Bobcat, Wolf, Bear, and Webelo before advancing into Boy Scouts.
The requirements for the Eagle rank are as follows: earn 21 merit badges, including 11 which are required; serve actively in a troop position for a period of six months after becoming a Life Scout; plan, develop and carry out a service project worthy of an Eagle Scout; and appear before a board of review and satisfy them that you have done your best to understand and live up to the Scout Oath and law and qualify for the Eagle Scout Award.

Skrypek's project dealt with landscaping the middle school courtyard. The landscaping was designed by Skrypek. The type of plants and shrubs, compost, wood chips and fertilizer was completed with the help of Adrian Louis from Louis Nurseries. The project was carried out by the Boy Scouts of Troop #34 under Skrypek's supervision. The boys and their parents tilled, added black dirt, built berms and planted the courtyard. The middle school teachers added to the courtyard by planting trees and flowers.

Gilk's project consisted of coordinating 17 volunteers from his confirmation class and Boy Scout Troop #34 at the Good Samaritan Care Center in Paynesville. The volunteers took part in games and various activities with the residents. The 17 volunteers put in 122 hours of volunteer work.

A highlight of their Boy Scout career was attending the National Boy Scout Jamboree in July of 1993 at Fort A.P. Hill, W.Va. Gilk will again be attending the Jamboree next summer as third assistant scoutmaster. The jamboree is held every four years. Skrypek feels his experience at the Boy Scout Jamboree motivated him to move towards his Eagle rank in scouting.

In September of 1994, Gilk was inducted into the Order of the Arrow at Parker Scout Reservation. This summer Gilk served as junior assistant scoutmaster when 11 Boy Scouts from Paynesville attended camp at Medicine Mountain Scout Camp in Custer, S.D.

Skrypek is a senior at Paynesville Area High School and employed by Adrian Louis Nurseries, as well. He has been active in school, church, and community. He has been active in German club, school sports of basketball, golf and football, peer tutoring in middle school and is tutoring for an hour a day during his senior year. Besides sports, his hobbies include fishing, hunting, drawing and computers.

Gilk is a junior this year at Paynesville. For the last two years he has worked for Subway. His hobbies include driving his snowmobile, hunting deer and pheasant.

Gilk is presently working on his Eagle Palms. Gilk states he has enjoyed the many campouts with the Boy Scouts, and working at events such as Lions chili feed, pancake breakfasts and highway pickups.

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