Scouts build blessing box for Eagle project

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Scouts BSA Troop 166 member Carey Nestler, center, oversees construction of her Eagle Scout project by volunteers, including Troop 166 member Emily Harris, Troop 165 member John Goodman, Troop 166 member Eliza Resch, Troop 366 member Aiden Harris and adult volunteer Mark Burton, Oct. 10 outside Pioneer Chapel. On Friday, Carey measured and cut the boards for the project, a blessing box, and on Saturday, her volunteer team built and stained the box. The blessing box will contain items such as nonperishable food, packing tape and diapers that incoming families might need and will be kept in Pioneer Chapel. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

Scouts BSA all-female Troop 166 has officially had three Scouts complete Eagle Scout projects following the execution of Carey Nestler’s project Oct. 10 outside Pioneer Chapel.

Scouts BSA Troop 366 member Aiden Harris holds a board in place as adult volunteer Darryl Ragsdale and Troop 165 member John Goodman work on another section of a blessing box, Troop 166 member Carey Nestler’s Eagle Scout project, Oct. 10 outside Pioneer Chapel. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Nestler — with the help of volunteers from Fort Leavenworth BSA Troops 66, 166 and 366; Lansing Troop 165; and members of New Hope Assembly of God Church in Leavenworth — built a blessing box that will provide various necessities to the Fort Leavenworth community.

“Being a military child, I know how hard it is to go sometimes to the Commissary or to the store to get things, so that’s what kind of inspired the whole idea,” Nestler said. “I’m hoping that people will come and use it and know that there is support from the chapel and just generally support from the Fort Leavenworth community.”

Scouts BSA Troop 166 member Carey Nestler holds her blessing box plan, which she and a team built for her Eagle Scout project Oct. 9-10. Carey measured and cut the boards on Friday, and her volunteer team built and stained the box on Saturday. The blessing box will contain items that incoming families might need and will be kept in Pioneer Chapel. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Nestler designed the 6x4x2-foot box to have 10 different compartments for holding nonperishable food and drink items, moving supplies, toiletries, cleaning supplies and more. She raised money for the project through a Facebook campaign and received donations from The Home Depot and Lowe’s. 

Because of COVID-19 precautions, Fort Leavenworth Chapels will fill the box up with supplies.

Additionally, because of the donation aspect of the project, Nestler had to get approval from not only the troop Scoutmaster and the district Scouts BSA Heart of America Council but also the Fort Leavenworth Legal Assistance Office and Fort Leavenworth Chapels before executing the project.

“There was a lot of approvals to go through,” Nestler said.

Chaplain (Col.) Michael McDonald, Garrison chaplain, said Nestler’s project is special.

“Her project is a rare combination of spiritual and physical provision, and I’m excited to see the impact,” McDonald said. “In the coming weeks, our various congregations will be collecting items to store in the blessing box.

“In honor of Carey’s vision and to better serve our community, we will then allow for access to the blessing box for those in need of various food items, cleaning items, hygiene items and even a blanket or two,” he said.

Volunteers build a blessing box for Scouts BSA Troop 166 member Carey Nestler’s Eagle Scout project Oct. 10 outside Pioneer Chapel. Carey measured and cut the boards on Friday, and her volunteer team built and stained the box on Saturday. The blessing box will contain items such as nonperishable food, packing tape and diapers that incoming families might need and will be housed in Pioneer Chapel. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Troop 166 Scoutmaster Sarah Groefsema said it’s a huge accomplishment to have three girls complete their Eagle Scout projects.

“I have been with these girls since before day one, and it’s been neat to watch their progression,” Groefsema said. “The Scouts come up with their own project, plan it, execute it and show leadership throughout, which is awesome to see.

“Carey, on day one, when she realized there was more than three knots to learn, got a little nervous, but she has come a long way. She can now teach the other Scouts the knots and other things to do with the program,” she said. “She empowers a lot of the other Scouts, and she’s doing a lot of that today, too.”

When it comes time for a Scout to come up with an Eagle Scout project, Groefsema said she just has one piece of advice for them.

“I always tell them to think of something that would mean something to them down the road and they can look back on and be proud that that’s their project,” Groefsema said.

Scouts BSA Troop 366 member Aiden Harris holds a board in place as adult volunteer Darryl Ragsdale, Troop 165 member John Goodman, adult volunteer Mark Burton and Troop 366 member Arlin Groefsema work on another section of a blessing box, Troop 166 member Carey Nestler’s Eagle Scout project, Oct. 10 outside Pioneer Chapel. The blessing box will contain items such as nonperishable food, packing tape and diapers that incoming families might need and will be kept in Pioneer Chapel. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Nestler said she is excited about completing her project.

“I want to lead by example, so I want other females to look up and say, ‘Oh, she’s done it, so I can do it,’” Nestler said. “(Scouts BSA) is a good program for females, and I highly encourage that if you’re someone who likes to be outdoors to join the program. It also gives you good leadership skills and you make a lot of friends.”

For more information, call Frontier Chapel at 684-2210. Blessing box donations and usage will be available in November.

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