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McNett earns Eagle Scout rank

Ryan McNett
Ryan McNett

Ryan McNett, son of Chad and Staci McNett, received the Eagle Scout Award as a member in Boy Scout Troop 33, sponsored by the First Lutheran Church in DeKalb. Eagle Scout is Scouting’s highest honor,

McNett’s introduction to Scouting began in first grade as a Tiger Cub with Cub Scout Pack 123 in Malta. He earned the highest Cub Scout award, the Arrow of Light. 

He graduated to Boy Scouting in fifth grade with Troop 33 in DeKalb. Years of adventure in challenging activities marked his journey toward Eagle. 

Winters included cabin campouts and the Klondike Derby, an annual event where Scouts compete in a variety of skill events.

A challenging trip at Snow Base, located near Rice Lake, Wisconsin, included winter survival training, snow hiking, cross country skiing, and building winter shelters, highlighted by sleeping in a snow shelter at a temperature of minus 5 degrees.

Ice fishing in Wisconsin included 4,000-acre Lac Vieux Desert where he enjoyed catching northern pike for the troop’s giant fish fry at night. 

Snowmobiles took him as far north as Lake Superior in Michigan’s upper peninsula. Trips included 100-plus mile and 200-plus mile snowmobile adventures through the north woods of Wisconsin and Michigan. Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains and Bond Falls were some of the locations visited.

Camp Lowden near Oregon, Illinois, was a week-long summer camp filled with fun and opportunity. 

He visited national parks such as: Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Backpacking at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado was among his adventures.

Greater paddling was found on a 50-mile canoe trip at Boundary Waters Canoe Area with camping and canoeing in the deep wilderness along the U.S.-Canadian border. Mother nature provided unforgettable beauty, abundant wildlife, a rock cliff to jump off, and the challenge of a thunderstorm or two. 

Another unique trip involved canoeing 61 miles across the Aftachalaya Swamp in Louisiana. Deep in Cajun country, camping involved jungle hammocks, houseboat overnight, plenty of time for swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, a blow gun tournament, air boat ride, fantastic swamp fishing, giant Cypress trees, with snakes and alligators to keep things interesting.

An important part of Scouting includes community service. McNett worked in numerous local service projects in the DeKalb area each year.

He worked disaster relief after Hurricane Sandy; including projects at a retirement center, community park, property of an elderly couple, and supply delivery to three communities in New Jersey. Time was found to visit New York City with the 9/11 Memorial and Times Square among sites visited.

Earning the Eagle Scout award includes planning, developing and giving leadership to an Eagle Service Project. McNett’s project involved constructing a storage building for Immanuel Lutheran Church in DeKalb. It began with Scouts hand digging an excavation for its foundation, then stage by stage, a one-story building 16 feet wide by 20 feet deep, equivalent in size to a two-car garage, his project rose behind the church.

McNett holds membership in the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s national honor society. His leadership in Troop 33 included serving as assistant patrol leader, patrol leader and assistant senior patrol leader. 

McNett is a junior at DeKalb High School.

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