Bernsen finishes Eagle Scout project
New meditation trail in Shell Knob result of Scout's labor
A large group of family, friends and supporters gathered to dedicate Michael Bernsenís Eagle Scout project on Saturday, Nov. 11. Bernsen's project is a meditation trail located just west of the Central Community United Methodist Church in Shell Knob. He coordinated all activities to complete the walking trail as part of the requirements to achieve his Eagle Scout badge ó the highest award in Boy Scouting.
The project was originally envisioned last spring, when Bernsen approached Bill Kenagy, pastor of the church, seeking a project that would benefit the community. Kenagy had wanted to do something with the unused, wooded area on the church property, so, together, the two foresaw a short walking trail based on the 14 stations of the cross as experienced by Christ.
Bernsen coordinated all efforts to plan, build and dedicate the project, arranging for materials and labor to construct the trail, and supervising all the activities to bring it to completion.
The trail is a short, looped walk through a peaceful wooded area. Along the path are 14 stopping points with small plaques indicating the station identity. Benches along the way provide an invitation to sit and meditate or rest. The trail also has a memorial station for Levi Newlon, a childhood friend of Bernsen's.
On Saturday, Kenagy opened the ceremony with prayer. Bernsen addressed the gathering, giving the details of the project and thanking those who helped with the trail. The trail was opened with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting. Those attending then took time to walk the trail and congratulate Bernsen for his accomplishment.
Bernsen is the son of Jerry and Kathy Bernsen of Shell Knob. He is a member of Boy Scout Troop 38 of Monett. He has held several leadership positions in his troop, and is a member of Order of the Arrow. With the completion of his Eagle project, Bernsen is very close to completing all requirements for this respected award, and plans to complete his Board of Review soon.
The Meditation Trail is always open to the public. The church is located on YY just east of 39 Highway in Shell Knob. Walkers may park in the church parking lot, and walk to the west side of the church to the inspirational trail.