Chapman earns Eagle Scout Award

In September, Zach Chapman of Monticello gathered several volunteers together to rebuild a 550-foot barbed wire fence in Camp Courageous. This was Chapman’s Eagle Scout project, which has earned him his award. (Photos submitted)

Last week, Chapman received word from the Boy Scout district office in Cedar Rapids that his Eagle Scout project was approved. From left are Monticello Scout leaders Jim Reuter, Matt Loenzen, Chapman, District Council member Rob Bagby, and Monticello leader Lisa Oswald.

Chapman sought the help of his fellow Scouts in building the fence for his Eagle Scout Project. Here, Landon and Jayden Orcutt assist Camp Courageous Maintenance employee Craig Lampe in putting up the property line sign. Chapman said Lampe was a huge help with the project.

After receiving over $1,300 in donations for the fencing materials, Chapman was able to donate $740 back to Camp Courageous. From left are Camp Director Charlie Becker and Chapman.
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Monticello High School sophomore Zach Chapman can cross one major accomplishment off his list: earning his Eagle Scout Award.

     Zach just completed his project, which involved constructing a 550-foot three-stand fence on the property line at Camp Courageous.

     In June, Zach and some volunteers started clearing brush at Camp. Then, in September, they took an entire workday to build and install the barbed wire fence.

     “I initially thought I was going to fix a fence,” Zach said. “But I had to build a new one.”

     Zach worked closely with Craig Lampe, part of Camp’s maintenance department.

     “Craig helped a lot,” praised Zach.

     “He was very encouraging,” added Sue Chapman, Zach’s mom.

     Charlie Becker, director of Camp Courageous, said Zach chose a project that wasn’t necessarily the easiest, but it was one that needed to be done the most.

     Lampe said Zach seemed a bit overwhelmed by it all. “I assured him that the project was doable and that I believe he was capable, and he did the rest,” shared Lampe.

     The workday involved about a dozen volunteers from Camp Courageous, the Chapmans’ church in Cedar Rapids, and Boy Scout volunteers.

     “Craig was a big help with what materials I needed to buy,” Zach said.

     In order to pay for the materials, Zach put out a public plea in the Monticello Express. In no time at all, he received $1,363.76.

     “The community was very generous on that,” he said.

     Zach utilized his local Theisen’s store for his materials: six wooden posts, 40 steel posts, and wire. Theisen’s was generous enough to donate three of the six wooden posts.

     In all, Zach ended up spending $623.17, leaving $740.59 to be donated to Camp Courageous. In his public plea, he informed his donors that any left over funds would be donated directly to Camp.

     “It’s a good charity to donate to,” he said. “I told them to use for whatever they needed.”

     “The donations were just amazing,” Sue said of those who mailed checks to the Chapmans for Zach’s Eagle Scout project. “Not one person questioned donating the rest back to Camp Courageous.”

     Zach said while it really hasn’t hit him yet that he’s earned his Eagle Scout Award, it is nice to be done.

     “It’s a really big honor,” he said. “I am happy and proud of myself.”

     Zach shared that he made a promise to both his father (Dennis Chapman) and family friend Ray Schneider (Razor Ray) that he would earn his Eagle Scout Award. (Dennis passed in 2013; Ray in 2012.)

     “They both pushed me to get my Eagle,” he said.

     “It was Ray who encouraged us to put Zach in Scouts,” recalled Sue. “He told us about the opportunities available.”

     Zach has been involved in Scouts since first grade as a Cub Scout. He said his favorite memory thus far is the high-adventure trip to South Dakota in the summer of 2017. Zach plans to go to New Mexico next August to visit a Boy Scout ranch.

     He also holds fond memories of the many Pinewood Derby races he’s been a part of.

     Zach hopes to stay involved in Scouts as a junior assistant leader, eventually making his way to a master leader.

     “I like the organization,” he said. “It’s taught me a lot about life skills and leadership. It’s given me an appreciation for the things I have.”

     Zach said if there are other Scouts out there looking for Eagle project ideas, he encourages them to consider Camp Courageous.

     As a parent, Sue said she’s seen her son gain more confidence due to his experiences in Scouts.

     Becker said while Zach hasn’t always had the easiest life growing up, he has excelled at everything.

     “The more challenges one throws at him, the better he does,” he said.

     Lampe added, “There is a lot of hard work that goes into the making of an Eagle Scout before ever beginning the Eagle Scout project. Zach has done that and more.”

     With two years left of high school, Zach said he either wants to go to college or enter the military.

     Zach also wants to thank those who helped him along the way with his Eagle project: Craig Lampe; Mike Meshak; Aaron, Landon, and Jayden Orcutt; Dave Schrader; John O’Brien; and Roch and Sadie Player.

     Zach will formally receive his Eagle Award in January at his Court of Honor ceremony.



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