When the Missouri River flooded in 2011, the ensuing damage for communities along the river was significant. In fact, damages in some communities were estimated to be in the millions of dollars. Other areas were rendered unusable, and, even now, several years later, the damage still remains.
The Washington County Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise shared the story of one such area affected by the Missouri River Flood of 2011. Trails in Fort Atkinson State Historical Park that had once been enjoyed by hikers and bird watchers had been made inaccessible by trees that fell during the Missouri River flooding. Blocked trails eventually became overgrown, making the problem even more insurmountable.
Of course, Scouts rarely see challenges as insurmountable, and when Scout Wylie O. looked at what he would have to do to return the trails to their former glory and help clear away the damage done by the Missouri River flooding, he didn’t bat an eye.
Others weren’t so sure.
“The first time I saw it I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, what did he get himself into,'” the Scout’s mother said.
“I figured it would take them at least a couple weeks to a month longer than what it did,” said John Slader, park superintendent at Fort Atkinson.
Of course, Wylie welcomed the challenge because he knew he was doing something that would help people to enjoy the park again.
“The physical labor wasn’t too hard. It was just really repetitive. One log after the next,” Wylie said. “It was a project that would help benefit the community.”
He and his crew spent several hours over multiple days along the two-mile trail removing the damage done by the Missouri River flooding by clearing fallen trees, branches and brush.
To see more ways that Eagle Scouts help their communities, read the Baylor University study, “Eagle Scouts: Merit Beyond the Badge.”