By Liz Verley, Staff Writer
Derek Poser, a ninth grader at the Little Falls Community High School (LFCHS) and a member of Boy Scout Troop 51, has recently completed all the steps needed to obtain the status of Eagle Scout. He is the son of Bruce and Margie Poser and has two siblings, Abby and Ethan.
To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, Poser had to progress through the ranks as a Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle.
During that time he had to earn 21 merit badges of which 12 are required and nine he chose.
Poser also had to plan, develop, and give leadership to a service project for any religious organization, school or community. He chose to do a project at LFCHS.
“I contacted Chad Kaddatz, (head baseball coach) at school and asked him if he had a project that I could work on and he told me there was a need for a helmet and bat rack in the visitor’s dugout at the baseball field,” said Poser.
Moving forward, the project grew to include a warm-up pitching mound and home plate for the visitor’s dugout and replacing the rotten wood on both dugouts and painting them.
Poser recruited family, friends, members of the baseball team and fellow scouts to help with the two- day project. Approximately 30 people turned out to help.
It was raining the first day but the project moved forward and the nice weather the next day allowed for the completion of the project.
Poser’s mom, Margie said, “Derek received great support from the community. Marv’s Wood Products and Simonson Lumber donated the wood and Ace Hardware donated the paint. The volunteers brought scrapers, paintbrushes and tools. People have commented on how nice the dugouts look now.”
Before a project can move forward, it must be reviewed by the troop leader. After he gives his approval he forwards it to the council for final approval.
Poser said, “The paperwork takes a long time. It took me more time that I expected from the planning stage through completion. In total there were 213 hours devoted to this project.”
On Nov. 18, Poser appeared before a Board of Review where he answered question about his scouting experience. This was the final step in achieving the Eagle Scout status.
Poser has many fond scouting memories, especially summer camp at Many Point. “I really enjoy going out an jumping on the aqua trampoline,” he said.
Poser said he could not describe a time when he did not enjoy scouting, although his first experience in trying to achieve his swimming badge was not the best. “It was cold and very windy. The waves were high,” he said. “I did not make it the first time, but I just kept working on it and passed the second year.”
The hardest task was winter camp. “We had to build our own shelter and sleep in it overnight. It was cold,” he said.
Poser, who has been in scouting since the second grade, said, “I would encourage any boy to join scouts. You do fun things at camp and as a troop. The overall experience will help you throughout your life. It is a great way to make new friends. We have scouts from both Royalton and Pierz in our troops.”
His future scouting plans call for encouraging the younger members and his brother, Ethan, to stay involved and work toward becoming an Eagle Scout. At the present time, Poser is also serving as Troop 51’s Senior Patrol leading. As such his duties include running troop meetings and trying to keep them on task.
Margie said, “This has been a great experience for us. Derek has learned a lot and so have we. We help out when the troop does a service project.”
Poser’s dad, Bruce, said, “I did not grow up with scouting but his has been a good experience for the family.”
“I could not have reached the goal of becoming an Eagle Scout without the support of my parents. I thank them for pushing me to finish. Sometimes I did not want to finish a merit badge but they would give me the encouragement I needed to finish,” said Poser.
Besides his scouting experience, Poser enjoys playing baseball, basketball, football and time spent as a junior volunteer at St. Gabriel’s Hospital.