Retired Lt. Col. Chad Harris and Scouts BSA Troop 166 Scoutmaster Sarah Groefsema carry a new board onto the dock while Troop 166 member Ashley Rowley removes screws from a board being replaced during Troop 166 member Maegan Brookshire's Eagle Scout project Sept. 12 at Merritt Lake. Troop 166, whose first meeting was in February 2019, is post's first all-girl Boy Scouts of America troop. The Scouting program became known as Scouts BSA Feb. 1, 2019, and is open to boys and girls ages 11-17. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

When 17-year-old Maegan Brookshire, Leavenworth High School senior, first noticed the rotting, weathered and warped wood on the two Merritt Lake fishing docks this summer, she said it got her thinking.

Scouts BSA Troop 166 Eagle Scout candidate Maegan Brookshire, senior at Leavenworth High School, removes nails from a board being replaced on the fishing dock during work on her Eagle Scout project Sept. 12 at Merritt Lake. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


“Lots of people come to that lake for fishing for catfish and things like that,” Brookshire said. “I thought if I could do something to improve these docks in a way that it’ll help people enjoy the area more and have more use of it, I felt it would benefit everybody.”

Scouts BSA Troop 166 member Carey Nestler listens to Troop 166 Eagle Scout candidate Maegan Brookshire explain the plan to remove and replace boards on the fishing dock as volunteers arrive to help Brookshire with her Eagle Scout project Sept. 12 at Merritt Lake. Troop 166, whose first meeting was in February 2019, is post’s first all-girl Boy Scouts of America troop. The Scouting program became known as Scouts BSA Feb. 1, 2019, and is open to boys and girls ages 11-17. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


This idea eventually grew into her Eagle Scout project, and, with the help of 10 volunteers, Brookshire became one of the first girls from all-female Scouts BSA Troop 166 to complete her Eagle Scout project Sept. 12 at Merritt Lake.


To complete the project, Brookshire, with help from her fellow Troop 166 Scouts and parents, removed rotting pieces of wood from the docks and replaced them with new wood; screwed down weathered and warped wood; and installed six fishing pole holders on each dock for anglers to use in the future.


“The project went really smoothly. I think the only thing was that it did take us a little longer then I expected it to, but everyone was super motivated to help, nothing went wrong, and (it) went as planned,” Brookshire said. “In the end, I was able to accomplish everything that I wanted to, which is really great.”


Scouts BSA, formerly the Boy Scouts of America, first announced the decision to welcome girls into its Scouting program in October 2017, and all-female Troop 166 was officially started on Fort Leavenworth on Feb. 1, 2019.

Scouts BSA Troop 166 Eagle Scout candidate Maegan Brookshire, senior at Leavenworth High School, pauses from replacing rotten and warped boards on the fishing docks for retreat during work on her Eagle Scout project Sept. 12 at Merritt Lake. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


Brookshire is the second Scout from that troop to complete her Eagle Scout project.
“When you stop and think about the fact that I get the opportunity to be one of the first females to come through this program and lead the way for the Scouts who will come after me, it’s amazing,” Brookshire said. “Now they have a mentor and a role model and can say, ‘you know, she faced all the adversity of people who didn’t really agree with the idea.’ To see that somebody has done it, and it is accomplishable, it’s awesome to think about that I have that opportunity to be that (role model).”


Eagle Scout Sarah Zoch completed her project — building four turtle basking platforms for Smith Lake and Sherman Army Airfield — on Aug. 8.

Scouts BSA Troop 166 member Carey Nestler drives in screws positioned on a new board while helping replace rotten and warped boards on the fishing docks as part of Troop 166 member Maegan Brookshire’s Eagle Scout project Sept. 12 at Merritt Lake. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


Troop 166 Scout Carey Nestler will complete her Eagle Scout project in the coming months.

Scouts BSA Troop 166 members Emily Harris and Carey Nestler remove screws from warped boards being replaced on the fishing dock during Troop 166 member Maegan Brookshire’s Eagle Scout project Sept. 12 at Merritt Lake. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

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