In 2006, a remarkable group of boys at Saint Frances Cabrini joined Cub Scouts. This year, seven of them, all from Troop 796, have become Eagle Scouts.
The odds of this happening are pretty amazing. Only 4% of Scouts nationwide earn the Boy Scouts’ highest honor of Eagle Scout. But, these boys were special. Early on, their Cub Master Brian Metz asked them what they wanted to get out of scouting. Even then, these boys knew. They wanted to become Eagle Scouts, and they earned it.
Six of the boys started Cub Scouts together at Cabrini in 1st grade: Matthew Brune, Andrew Davis, Tyler Galante, Ben Heinen, Matthew Metz and Tristan Nordquist. The 7th boy, Hunter Frerichs, also started in 1st grade, but in Pennsylvania, where he lived. He joined the group in 6th grade, when his family moved to West Bend. Following 8th grade graduation, Hunter moved to Iowa and Matthew Brune moved to North Carolina, but both boys joined troops in their new cities, and remained active with Boy Scouts.
Early on, their Cub Master Brian Metz asked them what they wanted to get out of scouting. Even then, these boys knew. They wanted to become Eagle Scouts, and they earned it.
The boys were friends, and much of the work they did together, attending camps together, earning merit badges together and helping each other with their Eagle Projects. Over the last two years, each of them completed their Eagle Projects and the requirements needed to achieve the honor of Eagle Scout.
There are many requirements to become an Eagle Scout. Eagle Scout Project must be completed while being a Life Scout. A Scout must plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to a religious institution, school, or community other than the Boy Scouts of America. Prior to starting the project, he must obtain approval of the project proposal by the organization benefiting from the effort, the unit leader and unit committee, and the council or district. Here are the projects completed by these outstanding young men.
Matthew Brune led fellow Scouts and adult leaders to build three Rocker Water Pumps (RWP) that have been delivered to Sub-Saharan Africa. The pumps are powered by the body weight of a farmer or their family member standing on the pump and rocking back and forth. This pumps water up from 200 feet below ground, and distributes it out to two acres of land. The Full Belly Project designs and builds equipment including the RWP that empowers people to earn a living rather than just receiving aid.
Andrew Davis led the construction of the Mother Cabrini Heritage Wall. He created the design, presented the idea to the Pastoral Council, and coordinated with The Sign Shop. With the help of volunteers, Scouts, family members Mike and Tony Koebel, and a few brothers, he learned carpentry, and built the Heritage Wall which is located in the Mother Cabrini Hall at Saint Frances Cabrini Church. The project provides an excellent way for the Parish to honor its many dedicated members who donate for the betterment of the Church and the School.
Hunter Frerichs purchased and installed a PA system and flagpole light for an existing flagpole at the Clinton County Sportsman’s Club in Dewitt, Iowa in the fall of 2017. This PA system is used by several area trap teams, and now the National Anthem is played before the start of every meet. His project also consisted of bringing in dirt to level out the ground along the edges of the concrete sidewalks, and organizing a group of 45 volunteers to clean up the trap fields.
Tyler Galante designed and built a Gaga Ball pit for St. Frances Cabrini School. Gaga Ball is similar to Dodge Ball, and can be played by anyone. It was a big hit for the students, who use the pit every day to play games during the recess. Tyler was very excited to help build something fun for the students at his old school.
Ben Heinen worked with Miller Monument to create an honorary wall for the West Bend Fire Department. The goal was to honor fire fighters, like his dad Mike Heinen, who served twenty plus years, as well as remember firefighters who died in the line of duty. The honorary wall had three existing plaques and has now added two new plaques full of names, mounted on granite monuments. In addition to the honorary wall, the project added a granite bench in memory of the firefighters who died in the line of duty, as well as landscaping around the project.
Matthew Metz spends quite a bit of time in the woods and wanted to help improve the Ice Age Trail System. He worked with the Wisconsin DNR and the Ice Age Trail Alliance to eradicate invasive Honeysuckle from the Pike Lake Segment. The Honeysuckle had started to take over large sections along the trail, choking out natural plants and trees. Matthew coordinated several volunteers to mark and remove the invasive plants. Several very dense areas of Honeysuckle were eliminated, and natural plants have been able to grow back in their place, making the trail more enjoyable for all who use it.
Tristan Nordquist worked with the West Bend Cemetery Association to fix or replace existing temporary flag holders. Along with the help of fellow Scouts, he fixed or replaced 75 service markers, making them permanent. These service markers also serve as flag holders and are used to recognize World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans in the West Bend Cemetery. He completed this project in memory of his great-grandfather who served in the Navy during World War II.
Congratulations boys! We’re proud of your achievements, and the fine young men you’ve become.
Thank you to Stephanie Nordquist for this wonderful story.