Zachary Aase was recently presented the Eagle Scout Award from Troop 33 in DeKalb.
Eagle Scout is the highest advancement award presented by the Boy Scouts of America. Each year only 2 percent of all Scouts earn the award. Becoming an Eagle requires a minimum of 21 merit badges, service in leadership and conducting an Eagle Service Project demonstrating the ability to plan, develop and provide leadership.
Aase, a 2012 graduate of Sycamore High School, is a freshman at Southern Illinois University. He began Scouting as a Cub Scout in Pack 132, later bridging into Boy Scout Troop 33 at age 11. He earned 38 merit badges.
His Eagle included two major service projects. His first project involved roofing the garage at the parsonage of First Lutheran Church in DeKalb. His second project involved repairing and painting an area used by Feed’em Soup Community Project in DeKalb.
His Scouting adventures began with summer camps at Camp Lowden near Oregon, Ill. As he became older and more experienced, he became active in various other challenging Scouting programs including a variety of disaster relief projects.
His 2005 Christmas vacation involved hurricane Katrina, delivering supplies and preparing meals in Pass Christian, Miss., and assembling a new animal rescue center in New Orleans.
His 2006 Easter vacation returned him to hurricane Katrina relief work; transporting supplies, preparing meals, working at a distribution center, at Pass Christian, Miss., and an animal rescue center in New Orleans.
Christmas 2008 took him to Galveston, Texas, to help victims of Hurricane Ike. Projects included feeding people and gutting homes severely damaged by the storm surge.
Spring break 2009 brought him back to Galveston to work removing debris, stripping buildings, and restoring a community park. One project overlapped from December as Scouts installed drywall on walls they had stripped out months earlier.
Spring break in 2010 involved an abandoned high school in Kentucky being restored into a disaster resource center.
He returned to summer camp in 2012 serving as an assistant adult leader.
The Eagle Scout Award is not a destination, but rather a journey. For Zachary Aase it was a long and amazing journey of self-discovery and growth.