When he joined the Scouts in third grade, Kade Bashor promised his mother, Celia Mistretta, that he’d earn his Eagle Scout rank
Years later, he had his chance.
With a deep interest in history, he hoped to do his final project for the Grundy County Historical Society. For two years, though, the project stalled as he juggled school and the logistics of the project.
But this year — the final year he was eligible to earn Boy Scouting’s distinguished award — Bashor decided to complete it.
“My mom and Barb Rath [a teacher at Morris Community High School] said I should finish it, and eventually I just thought, ‘OK, I’m going to do this,’” he said.
With new resolve, Bashor worked to complete his final project, which now stands outside the Historical Society — a pioneer “lean-to” that would have provided temporary summer shelter to traders and trappers in the 1700s.
“It’s just awesome that he met that challenge,” said Mistretta, herself a teacher at MCHS.
And with only three days to spare, he finally earned his Eagle Scout rank — right along with his brother, Ian.
“Looking back, it’s so great,” Kade added. “This is something I’m probably going to take with me for years.”
The brothers have been in the Scouts since they were kids.
“It’s definitely shaped who I am,” Kade said. “That sounds cheesy, but it’s definitely true.”
Ian Bashor said he’s wanted to be an Eagle Scout since joining the Scouts in first grade.
“It definitely means a lot to me,” he said. “I’ll be an Eagle Scout forever.”
For his project, Ian built a low retaining wall at St. Thomas Episcopal Church near his house.
He’s into math and science and wants to eventually become an engineer. But at the time, he didn’t know much about building. Soon, though, he was drawing up plans, pricing out supplies, and laboring away at the wall.
The result was something that will be at the church for a number of years to come.
“It’s pretty awesome to think about that,” Ian said. “It’s just cool to think people in the future will be at the church and it will still be there.”
As cool as the results of their efforts are, it’s the lessons they learned along the way that will likely prove most valuable.
Through his project, Ian said he learned a lot about communication, “on the fly thinking” and interpersonal skills — all things he’ll eventually employ, he said, in his dream career as an engineer.
Through his efforts, Kade learned some lessons about the trades, about history, and about pushing through to finish something he started.
For Mistretta, that’s been the most important part of her sons’ experience in the Scouts.
“This is a great way to culminate their experience,” Mistretta said. “Both boys grew up into men through the program, and especially during these projects.”