Scout achieves prestigious status with unusual project

Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Scout helps preserve Edens Cabin Democrat Photo/Lindsay Reed Last month, Cassville High School junior Wil LeCompte completed a chinking project that will help preserve the Edens Cabin located at the Barry County Museum in Cassville. On Tuesday, the Edens family celebrated a reunion at the museum. During the event, family members recognized LeCompte's work, which will help earn him Boy Scouts highest ranking award of Eagle Scout.

Cassville High School junior Wil LeCompte completed a very unusual project in order to achieve the Boy Scouts' highest ranking of Eagle Scout. LeCompte's project not only satisfied his community service requirement but helped preserve part of Barry County's history for future generations.

This month, LeCompte, with the help of family members and a new friend, completed a project that will help preserve the cabin located at the Barry County Museum on Highway 112 south of Cassville.

"We used a process of weather proofing the cabin called chinking, which makes it look authentic," said LeCompte.

A member of Boy Scout Troop #76 in Cassville, LeCompte completed many ranks in order to reach candidacy for Eagle Scout. Last year, he began looking for a project that would help him achieve one of the final requirements for the scouting honor.

"We knew I was getting close to where I needed to be, and Merle Rogers had heard about this project," said LeCompte.

Rogers helped LeCompte make contact with Charles Weathers, a member of the family that donated the cabin to the museum. Weathers helped gather information to present to the Boy Scouts Council in Springfield in order to receive approval for the project.

"We received permission last year," said LeCompte. "Charles Weathers helped me a lot with this project. He helped me get the estimates for the concrete and other information."

After LeCompte received approval on his project plans, which included cost estimates, he was required to raise funds to complete the project. LeCompte received donations from Security Bank, Freedom Bank, the Edens family and the Barry County Museum.

"My mom helped with the project a lot," said LeCompte, "and my dad helped me present the idea to the council. Charles' wife, Chloe, also helped."

Scouts are required to have a minimum of 100 planning hours when completing a community service project for the Eagle Scout honor. In addition to gathering information about the materials needed to complete the project, LeCompte spent numerous hours learning how to properly chink the cabin.

"You have to mix your own cement with sand," said LeCompte. "The mixture has to be mixed by hand. Then you use a shingle to hold the concrete and a trowel to throw or scoop in the mixture and smooth it out.

"Then, it has to sit for several hours before you can go back over it with a damp paint brush," said LeCompte.

Traditionally, Eagle Scout community service projects are planned and organized by the scout attempting to reach the prestigious honor. Other scouts in the troop often lend a hand in the completion of the project. LeCompte's project required no assistance from other scouts.

"It would have been harder to have a lot of people working on this," said LeCompte. "This requires a special technique, and I knew that once they would have caught on, they would have probably needed to leave. It was easier to use help from a smaller group of people."

LeCompte and his small group of volunteers began working on the cabin in mid-September. Work was completed on Sept. 23.

On Oct. 4, the Edens family celebrated a reunion at the museum and had the opportunity to see the completed work for the first time. LeCompte was in attendance to answer questions about the project.

"I was really excited for the family to see the cabin for the first time," said LeCompte. "I think it looks good, and Charles said it looks good. His approval was very important to me."

LeCompte is the son of Jim and Gayle LeCompte, of Cassville.

Only 4 percent of boys who enter the scouting program earn Eagle Scout rank. Congratulatory greetings are sent to new Eagle Scouts from the President of the United States. Eagle Scouts also receive extra rank when entering the military.

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