Nathan Pool, of Boy Scout Troop 77 Enterprise, receives a garrison commander’s coin from Col. Stuart J. McRae, Fort Rucker garrison commander, after he earned his Eagle rank during a ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum May 10. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)
Published: May 15, 2014
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 15, 2014) -- Many skills are learned in the Scouts, from learning how to build a fire to building a raft, but for some, the most lasting lessons are self-discipline and leadership.
That’s what becoming an Eagle Scout meant for Nathan Pool, of Boy Scout Troop 77 Enterprise, who earned his Eagle rank during a ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum May 10.
“It really feels good because I’ve been working on (obtaining my Eagle rank) for a long time, so finally being able to achieve it is a great feeling,” said Pool. “The process has been tough because (being in an Army Family), we’ve had to move around a couple times during the process, so each time I sort of had to start with a blank slate and regroup to get back to this point.”
Pool, 15, has been a part of the Scouts for more than nine years since he joined the Cub Scouts as a Tiger Cub at age 6. Since then, he’s gone on to earn 29 merit badges, served his troop in various leadership roles and completed a major community project on Fort Rucker for Soldiers, Families and civilians to enjoy.
Pool said becoming an Eagle Scout is something he’d always thought about and would do anything to achieve.
“I remember as a young Scout looking up to Eagle Scouts and thinking that’s what I wanted to be,” he said, adding that the most challenging part of the journey was organizing his Eagle project.
For his project, Pool decided he wanted to do something that would make an impression, so he set out to build a nature trail on Fort Rucker that people could enjoy for years to come.
“This project, to me, was really a big deal because now I can come back in 10 or 20 years with my Family and be able to show them that I did this,” he said. “I saw that this would benefit the community and give people a way to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. To have such a lasting impression like that here on Fort Rucker is a really cool feeling.”
The main trail is about three-quarters of a mile long and branches off to subsequent trails throughout the land, said Pool.
The trail also loops around a food plot that animals use to feed that can provide some sightseeing for people interested in wildlife, added Nathan’s father, CW4 Scott Pool, 1st Battalion, 212th Aviation Regiment.
“There are so many different types of trees, birds and wildlife out here for people to see,” he said. “There are certain merit badges (in Boy Scouts) that have to do with the identification of different (plants and wildlife), and this will be a good place for people to come for that.”
The process to get started took time and, in order to get approval for the trail, Nathan and those involved had to write up a plan stating what the project was and how it would benefit the community.
Nathan, along with his Family and groups of volunteers, cleared out the main trail with mowers and marked them with posts. Other trails and trees were trimmed by hand, and the work was daunting, but no matter the obstacle, nothing was going to keep him from finishing what he started, he said.
“As a Boy Scout, this teaches me a sense of responsibility,” said Pool. “I can come out here and see that (the trail) is being used and know that it made some sort of impact on the community – it makes me feel like I’m part of something.”
For Nathan, the hardest part was organizing and keeping the project and people involved on task, but the lessons and skills he learned from following through with his commitment is something he said he’ll be able to use throughout the rest of his life.
“The most important lesson I feel that I’ve learned is self-discipline and leadership,” he said. “Throughout my time in scouting, I’ve learned skills from first aid to how to build a raft, but the leadership skills and moral skills I feel are the most important and most lasting that I’ve learned.”
This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/126105/
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