EASTON — William and Joshua Schmidt of Trappe celebrated earning the rank of Eagle Scout on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon, Oct. 4. A small, outdoor ceremony to mark the brothers’ achievements was held on the shores of the Tred Avon River at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Oxford.
Scoutmaster Eric Milhollan presented the brothers with Eagle Scout awards and neckerchiefs honoring their accomplishments. Speakers included their sister Hannah Schmidt, the Rev. Kevin Cross of Holy Trinity Church, Assistant Scoutmaster Brian Schmidt, and special speaker Jack Noble, who read “The Eagle Challenge From the Voice of An Eagle.” Noble earned his Eagle Scout rank in 1945.
Joshua and William Schmidt are members of the Easton Elks BSA Troop 532 and are currently in the 10th grade at Easton High School.
During the ceremony, William Schmidt presented a special mentor pin to his cub scout leader, Dawn Robinson, citing his cub scouting experience as a positive one and the foundation for his advancement in Boy Scouts. He also presented a mentor pin to Milhollan for his help with his Eagle project and his guidance and leadership throughout the ranks of scouting.
Joshua Schmidt presented a special mentor pin to Michael Clark, a fellow Eagle Scout, thanking him for his mentorship and friendship. He also presented a mentor pin to his father Brian Schmidt for his help with merit badges, “especially cooking and shotgun shooting, encouragement along the way and always being a part of the adventure, especially summer camp,” he said.
The brothers joined cub scouts while in the second grade. After completing four years of cub scouts and becoming Webelos, they earned the “Arrow of Light,” the highest rank in cub scouting, and crossed over into Boy Scouts. As scouts, they were elected by their peers to join the Order of the Arrow. They completed their “ordeal” and were accepted into the “Order of the Arrow” which is the national honor society of Boy Scouts. To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, a scout must advance through the seven ranks of scouting, complete 21 merit badges, and plan and complete an Eagle Project. William and Joshua completed the 21 merit badges and an additional 10 merit badges each to earn both bronze and golden Eagle Palms.
William Schmidt’s Eagle project benefited the Old Wye Mill located in Wye Mills in northern Talbot County. His project was constructing a lookout deck behind the Old Wye Mill for people to watch the water wheel in action. Prior to his project, patrons had to stand on the edge of the slippery creek bank of the stream. The observation deck was constructed out of pressure treated wood and painted to match other walkways at the Mill. Access to the observation deck was improved by William with the removal of a hazardous walkway and relaying the brick sidewalk. Edges were installed and black-eyed Susans and mulch finished the project. Many of William’s fellow scouts assisted with this project, and all helpers were fed a hearty lunch on both days of work.
Joshua Schmidt’s Eagle project began the following week and also benefited the Old Wye Mill. His project was to replace a dilapidated split rail fence, construct a new connecting brick walkway and plant the street scape with black-eyed Susans. Some of the split rail fence, proved to be challenging, as it was set in concrete. A farm jack, donated by a local construction company proved a helpful tool in removing some of the posts. Fifteen helpers worked all day to remove and replace the fence. His sidewalk construction also proved a challenge as, after the base was dug out, evening rain washed away the original effort. The fence line along the front of the property was planted with black-eyed Susans and mulched. All the workers were fed a hearty pork BBQ lunch.
The two scouts each did their own fundraising for these projects and donations were given by friends and family, local churches and businesses. Gifts in kind were provided by many local businesses, including many construction materials. Both Eagle projects were enhanced by a one-on-one lesson from local mason Gary Haley on how to lay brick.
To earn Bronze and Eagle Palms, William Schmidt earned the following merit badges beyond the requirements: Fishing, Gardening, Kayaking, Motor boating, Small Boat Sailing, Wood Carving, Search and Rescue, Shotgun Shooting, Nuclear Science and Wilderness Survival. The leadership positions he has held include patrol leader and quartermaster. His favorite scouting activities include earning merit badges at summer camp and camping out — especially the “Klondike Derby” campout that is held at Tuckahoe Steam and Gas every winter. He very much enjoys fire building and cooking for his fellow scouts on camping trips.
To earn Bronze and Eagle Palms, Joshua Schmidt earned the following merit badges beyond the requirements: Kayaking, Model Design and Building, Motor Boating, Salesmanship, Small Boat Sailing, Soil and Water Conservation, Wilderness Survival, Wood Carving, Pioneering and American Heritage. The leadership positions he has held include patrol leader and troop guide. He has enjoyed all of the summer camps, especially Goose Pond where he learned to paddle board. His favorite kind of camp-out is when the troop also attends a sporting event like a Shorebirds game or a Navy football game.