The Eagle

What does it mean to be an Eagle Scout? How does one become an Eagle Scout? Why does it require a project? These are common questions to someone who hasn’t achieved the rank of Eagle. We celebrate when a Scout is decorated with the Eagle Scout rank. We give gifts and have a party. But what happens before the party? How much does a Scout really have to accomplish in order to earn the rank that only 6% of Scouts have the honor of claiming?

Bob Chesebro Receives
Outstanding Eagle Scout Award

Robert ‘Bob’ Chesebro has been awarded the National Eagle Scout Association Outstanding Eagle Scout Award upon nomination by the Black Swamp Area Council and to the Boy Scouts of America. This award is granted to Eagle Scouts who, have distinguished themselves in their life work and who have shared their talents with their communities on a voluntary basis.

Bob becomes the first in Black Swamp Area Council to be selected to receive this prestigious award.

Bob has a legacy of service to his community and Scouting. Bob earned his Eagle Scout rank in 1945.

Following college and service in the U.S. Army as an officer in the 101st Airborne Division, Bob returned to his hometown of Findlay, Ohio, and immediately started a 65-year long period of service to Scouting.

He started his career in service as a District and Council Commissioner before joining the Council Finance Committee, a position he held until this year, more than 60 years! Bob then served as Council President and the Council Vice President of Endowment for 38 years. 

Thanks to Bob’s leadership and great work the Council endowment has grown to more than $8 million. In addition to his endowment building Bob was the driving force in raising funds for the construction of the local camp dining hall, camp office and multiple cabins. His efforts are leaving a legacy of great camping facilities for generations of Scouts and families to enjoy for years to come. . 

Bob also served as President of the Berry Scout Reservation, Inc., which is a trust separate from the Back Swamp Area Council that supports Camp Berry and Camp Lakota. He led this trust board for more than 30 years, until December 2018. Under Bob’s leadership, millions of dollars have been generated and invested in the council’s two camps, which are recognized as two of the finest Scout reservations in the Midwest.

After 65 years of active leadership, Bob recently decided it was time to retire from the Black Swamp Area Council and Berry Scout Reservation boards, but he will always have a spot around our campfire.

Not only has Bob been an active leader for the Boy Scouts but also of Camp Fire. Bob served as Chairman of the Camp Glen Camping Committee for many years. In this position, he actively helped lead year-round camp activities, facilities, and maintenance. Bob and his wife Kay were recently presented the Camp Fire On Behalf of Youth Award for their long, long generous service to Scouts and Camp Fire.

In addition, Bob has faithfully served his church as an Elder, Deacon, Trustee, youth group leader, Stewardship Committee chair and Finance Committee.  

The National Eagle Scout Association Committee, under the direction of Alumni Relations at the Boy Scouts of America’s national office, selects the recipients of this award.

The Outstanding Eagle Scout Award was implemented in 2010 in conjunction with the Boy Scout of America’s 100th anniversary. Only the local council of the Eagle Scout’s primary residence may nominate. Nominations may not be made for posthumous awards.

Neil Armstrong, Eagle Scout of Troop 14 in Wapakoneta, was first to walk on moon

Perhaps the most recognizable and often mentioned Eagle Scout in the history of the Boy Scouts of America, Neil Armstrong had humble origins, and the Old Sycamore District and Black Swamp Area Council are proud call him one of our Eagles.

Armstrong’s family has strong roots in this area and he was born near Wapakoneta, but Neil’s early life was frequently on the move, following his father’s job across the state of Ohio. Among other places, Neil spent a significant amount of time living in Warren, in Northeast Ohio.

It wasn’t until he was 11 and living in Upper Sandusky, OH, that Neil joined the Scouting Movement. Neil and his friends were founding members of Troop 25 in Upper Sandusky and Neil was the diligent scribe for that Troop until his family moved to Wapakoneta a few years later.

When in Wapak, Neil joined Troop 14 chartered to St Paul’s United Church of Christ, resumed his Scouting career, and attended our very own Camp Lakota in Defiance. During this time, Neil fed his passion for flight by saving up his money doing small jobs and then using it to buy flight time in New Knoxville.

Neil graduated from Blume High School in Wapakoneta young and began attending Purdue University at the tender age of 17. It was actually during his first year in college that Neil completed the requirements and his Board of Review for his Eagle rank on December 24, 1947.

After Neil completed his famous walk on the moon, he was quickly awarded the Silver Buffalo, a highly prestigious award at the National level, in May 1970. Two years later, on July 20, 1972, our council officially rechristined the southern half of Camp Lakota as, “Camp Neil Armstrong,” in his honor.

We are very proud of our Eagle for carving out such an important part of history. Information for this article can be attributed to First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong by James R. Hansen, Bryan on Scouting, the Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta, the Black Swamp Area Council, BSA, and other local sources.

Troop 14’s Recharter paperwork from 1949 listing Neil as an “Associate Scout” during his time in college.

Neil’s Scout hat and Silver Buffalo award certificate

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