Two Eagle Scout awards were presented by Boy Scout Troop 33 in a special ceremony held at First Lutheran Church in DeKalb. As the highest award in Boy Scouts, only about 2 percent of all Scouts earn the Eagle Scout Award in any given year.
Eagle Scout Jared deSeife, son of Rudolph and Cynthia deSeife, is currently a student at Kishwaukee College. He enjoyed many exciting experiences through Scouts over the years. He attended summer camps at Camp Napowan near Wild Rose, Wis. and Camp Lowden near Oregon, IL.
Beyond summer camp, he participated in advanced high adventure tours with Troop 33 stretching all across the nation. He traveled to Hawaii, where he toured the islands of Oahu and Maui, including several wide sand beaches, waterfall hikes, climbing Diamond Head, surfing, snorkeling, enjoying an authentic luau, and touring Pearl Harbor and Honolulu. One of the highlights of his Hawaiian adventure was biking down the Mount Haleakala volcano and exploring hidden places along the Hana Highway on Maui.
On other trips he toured New York City, Boston, St. Louis, paddled on several rivers including the Meremec and Missouri rivers; enjoyed cave exploring; camping along the Atlantic Ocean in Rhode Island; visiting Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts; hiking and whale watching in Maine.
Eagle Scout Mark Aska, son of Larry and Dawn Aska, is currently a student at Western Illinois University. He found many avenues for adventure through Scouts in Troop 33. He also attended summer camp at Camp Lowden near Oregon, IL.
On high adventure trips, he visited Fort Knox and explored wild sections of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. In Utah, he hiked the Narrows at Zion National Park, enjoyed horseback riding through Bryce Canyon and pontoon boating on Lake Powell. He rafted on the Colorado River, hiked at Arches National Park and endured a mountain biking adventure in Moab, Utah.
In Arizona, he camped and hiked at the Grand Canyon, and camped in the mountains near Flagstaff – the desert near Phoenix – and toured an aircraft museum in Tucson. In Mexico, he toured the fishing port of Guaymas and enjoyed kayaking on the Sea of Cortez at San Carlos. He toured the Hoover Dam and Las Vegas. In Colorado, he backpacked at Rocky Mountain National Park, rafted on the Animas River and toured Mesa Verde, Bents Fort and the Koshare Indian Kiva. He enjoyed climbing at Laramie, Wyo., and bicycled 410 miles from St Paul, Minn., north along the rugged shoreline of Lake Superior to Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada. He also bicycled along the outer banks of the Carolinas and toured Washington, D.C.
In addition to the above activities, both deSeife and Aska volunteered their efforts following the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005. Both Eagle Scouts worked in Pass Christian, Miss., cooking meals for victims and volunteers; helped prepare a banquet for homeless military families at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss.; and helped prepare a new animal rescue center for New Orleans, La. They were part of a team of Troop 33 Scouts who rode nearly 500 miles on a bike-a-thon from Memphis, Tenn., to New Orleans, La., which raised thousands of dollars for hurricane-damaged libraries.
Becoming an Eagle Scout involves earning at least 21 merit badges and serving in a leadership position. Each Eagle candidate must also plan, develop and give leadership to a major Eagle Service Project. Aska and deSeife each served as Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 33.
For their Eagle Service Projects, Aska organized a recreational outing for a group of nursing home patients from Shabbona Nursing Home, while deSeife wrote, directed and produced an educational video on how government works.
The Boy Scout program seeks to foster citizenship, develop character and promote fitness. Becoming an Eagle Scout requires dedication and perseverance.