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Local Boy Scout earns Eagle rank with project at Penn Meadows

NORTH LIBERTY– Trevor Schense of North Liberty joined Cub Scouts when he was in the first grade. A friend asked him to join and later the friend moved to Cedar Rapids, but by that time Schense was hooked on Scouting and stayed a member of the pack.
As a Cub Scout he enjoyed the many activities such as his first campout, day camp, knot tying, crafts, cake auctions, pine wood derby, rain gutter regatta and many other activities.
At the end of sixth grade, Schense didn’t think he would transition to Boy Scouts until a neighbor had a conversation with him and encouraged him to stay the course. He did and was glad he continued.
As a Boy Scout, Schense has enjoyed many friendships and activities. A memorable activity included camping in Eagle Cave at Blue River, Wis., with 250–300 other Boy Scouts from all over the nation. One of the Scout leaders got stuck in a cave tunnel and had to back his way out in a 30-minute hurry to make the scheduled lunchtime.
Another favorite activity was Boy Scout summer camp at Howard H. Cherry Scout Reservation Camp Wakonda in Central City, Iowa. The first time he camped there, he arrived Sunday afternoon for orientation and instruction. The first night brought extreme heat, early morning emergency sirens and straight-line winds. One of the older Scouts said the winds sucked up a chair 30 feet into the air before it came crashing down. All of the Scouts were instructed to take shelter in the recently constructed storm shelters. They sheltered inside for 30 to 45 minutes until the storm had passed. The next day, that was the topic of conversation among the boys.
Schense enjoyed camping at Pikes Peak State Park, Lake McBride State Park, Geode State Park, Pinicon Ridge Park, Hickory Hills Park, and many other locations. On several campouts, he hiked and learned how to cook nutritious foods for the troop as part of the cooking merit badge requirements.
Part of the requirements for obtaining Eagle Rank is to complete an Eagle Scout project of his choosing with approval by several scout leaders. Schense had traveled to Madison, Wis., in 2014 for vacation. When there, he and his family visited the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, inspiring him to choose a perennial garden with benches and plantings as his Eagle Scout project in Penn Meadows Park in North Liberty. He worked with Forever Green Landscaping, members of the North Liberty Optimist Club, Troop 216, Scoutmaster Kevin Kurka, Scout parents, several local financial donors, his uncle David Fuls who handcrafted the brass plaques, and members of the North Liberty Parks Department headed by Guy Goldsmith to create a 20-foot crescent half-moon shaped perennial garden in Penn Meadows Park.
The garden includes two concrete pads recycled from Herky the Hawk statues, two green benches, handcrafted brass plaques listing the donors’ names, limestone edging, red lava rock, fencing, pampas grass, vinca minor vines, variegated hostas, and flowering coral bells.
“It’s nice to see the community using the benches and enjoying the garden,” Schense said. “People use the benches to change their shoes for sport activities in the park, to watch their kids play at the splash pad, playground area, or to just sit on the benches and enjoy the area with other family members or friends. Boy Scouts allows you to partake in activities you wouldn’t ordinarily get to do and to give back to the community. It’s a good feeling.”
If you would like more information on Boy Scouts, please call Scoutmaster Kevin Kurka at 319-325-6126 or e-mail at: kdkurka@yahoo.com.