Scout Earns High Honors

 NEW BREMEN — After accumulating more than 122 hours of work, Alex Speelman, 18, of New Bremen, received his Eagle Scout Award on May 20 in a ceremony at the American Legion Post 241.

Speelman, the son of Todd and Diane Speelman of New Bremen and the grandson of Robert and Janice Clune of New Bremen and Gene and Marjorie Speelman of Minster, began as a Tiger Cub in 2001. He worked his way through Wolf, Bear and Weblos until 2006 when he joined Troop 95 and earned his Arrow of Light Award. While in Troop 95, Speelman participated in the Black Swamp Area Council’s National Youth Leadership Training, spent 70 nights camping, hiked 14 miles and provided 44 hours of community service.

He also served as assistant patrol leader, quartermaster, senior patrol leader, historian and chaplain aide.

In his years with the Boy Scouts, Speelman said he enjoyed the lessons he learned and the friendships he formed and said he plans to continue in Boy Scouts in the future.

“It teaches you discipline,” he said. “I’ve also had some fun times going out and doing a lot of stuff with the guys.”

To earn his Eagle Scout Award, Speelman looked to the New Bremen community for what he could do to make an improvement.

“I was looking for an area where I could help,” Speelman said, noting he found Kuenning-Dicke Nature Preserve, just north of New Bremen. “The park is two years old and it didn’t have much landscaping. There were a lot of weeds. It was a nice park to walk through but there was nothing nice to look at.”

Speelman said he tracked down the owner of the land to work out what he could do to fix it up.

“I contacted Crown because they are the company that keeps up the park, and they said they would fund the entire project for me,” he said.

After gathering his plans, supplies and a group of volunteers, Speelman went to work in Kuenning-Dicke Nature Preserve.

“I planted wildflower beds in patches so they will hopefully spread and make the park more beautiful,” he said.

“I also mulched around the signs and planted flower beds around the entrance sign and the till markers.”

Brad Smith, Rick Lauth and Alen Fenters, all of Crown Equipment Corporation, helped Speelman with his project.

“Some of my friends and a few fellow scouts came out along with some adults and a group of Crown employees helped with my project,” Speelman said.

Boy Scout Troop 95 Scoutmaster Mark Francis presented Speelman with his award on May 20 at an event emceed by Troop 95 Committee Chair Bob Kramer. Troop 95 Scouts Adrian Speelman, Aaron Hemmelgarn, Mathew Dawson, Eric Francis and Craig Francis participated in the ceremony, and the Rev. Tom Mannebach, Eagle Scouts Austin Speelman and Dr. William Baker, Nick Dicke of the American Legion and State Rep. John Adams also presented at the ceremony.

Outside of Boy Scouts, Speelman, who will begin his senior year at New Bremen High School this fall, is involved in choir, drama, football, basketball, track, swimming and the National Honor Society. He was chosen as a delegate to Buckeye Boys State this summer.