It took a slight change of plans, but Jonas Muhlenkamp of Boy Scout Troop 1 in North Canton recently earned his Eagle Scout rank.
"Initially, I had been thinking of redoing the courtyard (at Zion United Church of Christ in North Canton)," Muhlenkamp said. "But I was at a project meeting and some of the members thought that project would be difficult. They suggested I do my project on redoing shelves for the mission.
Zion United Church of Christ sponsors Muhlenkamp's troop.
"My project included building three sections of shelves," Muhlenkamp, who resides in Plain Township with his parents, Aaron and Peggy, and sister Sophia. "Each shelf was four feet long and connected. The shelves are built of plywood planks. Several planks were needed for each section."
Muhlenkamp, who said the project took about two months to complete, said the list of people who helped him on the project included mostly family members – his parents, sister, grandparents Ron and Carol Muhlenkamp and grandma Ann Van den Bosch. He said his troop helped raise funds by working a car wash.
When planning the project, Muhlenkamp estimated he would need $600 for the project. The total cost ended up being $400 and the additional money was donated back to the church. He also conducted a drive to collect needed items for the church's mission work.
"That was my first experience doing an event like that, " said Muhlenkamp, who is a home-schooled eighth-grader. "I learned that you cannot try to do everything. You need to let people help you out. That is what a big part of this project taught me. I learned about the technical aspect of the project, the construction.
"I enjoyed building the shelves knowing the project was going to a good cause. I would consider doing the project again."
Muhlenkamp has been involved with the Boy Scouts since he was seven years old.
"It is a great opportunity to makes friends," said Muhlenkamp, who competes on the North Canton Y swim team, enjoys computer programming and trading cards game Magic the Gathering. "It extends beyond school. You learn useful skills like cooking, camping and provides a great opportunity for leadership."
Through his scouting career, Muhlenkamp has earned numerous awards. He has earned 22 merit badges, is a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow, earned Third Year Pipestone, Third Year Good Camper and First Class-First Year.
"The Order of the Arrow is the National Honor Society for Boy Scouts," said Muhlenkamp. "There is a certain rank. You get voted in. The Third Year good camper means you camp for 20 nights in one year. The Third Year Pipestone is camp honors at All Buckeye Camp Seven Ranges scout reservations."