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DeKalb teen in Troop 33 earns rank of Eagle Scout

Ben Heinsohn of Troop 33 in DeKalb recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest advancement rank presented by the Boy Scouts of America. A sophomore at DeKalb High School, Heinsohn became involved in Scouting as a Tiger Cub in Pack 131. He earned the Arrow of Light, Cub Scouting's highest honor. He crossed over into Troop 33 in the spring of 2003. Heinsohn immediately became involved in outdoor activities and advancement. Throughout the year, regardless of the season, Heinsohn has been an active participant in the Scouting program. Winter found him on Klondike Derbies, sledding, snowmobiling on Wisconsin trails, snowshoeing the Apostle Islands, exploring ice caves along Lake Superior and dog sledding. Warmer weather might find him attending camporees, Grant Pilgrimage at Galena, bicycling to Starved Rock or along the Elroy-Sparta Trail, paddling along the Kishwaukee or Wisconsin rivers or caving at Maquoketa. Heinsohn has attended summer camps at Camp Lowden near Oregon, Ill., On a high-adventure tour of the eastern United States, he explored New York City and toured a nuclear submarine in Connecticut. In Rhode Island, he enjoyed camping and toured the Naval War College. While exploring Cape Cod, he enjoyed camping, swimming on an ocean beach and climbing the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, plus an ocean visit to the island of Martha's Vineyard. He toured the historic tall ship USS Constitution in Boston. In Maine, he hiked high atop Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park and participated in two whale-watching expeditions in Bar Harbor and Boothbay Harbor, witnessing several whale sightings including a full breech of a humpback whale. Following Hurricane Katrina, Heinsohn traveled south to Mississippi and Louisiana with Troop 33 in response to the disaster. He helped cook meals for hundreds of victims and volunteers at God's Katrina Kitchen in Pass Christian, Miss., and also helped assemble a new animal rescue center for New Orleans, La. Heinsohn's leadership experience includes serving Troop 33 as a den chief, patrol leader, chaplain aide and currently as senior patrol leader. He has provided many hours of service in community projects - collecting food, refurbishing bicycles, trail clean-up and cooking meals for DeKalb flood victims this fall. While a student at Tyler Elementary School many years ago, Heinsohn saw first-hand a need for better playground facilities. He dedicated his Eagle service project to improving Tyler's playground. Through his leadership, planning and dedication, his project coordinated a large crew of volunteers working together to build a new ball diamond and new soccer fields. Tyler students will benefit from Heinsohn's efforts for many years to come. Heinsohn has distinguished himself as a gifted student and was named the American Legion Outstanding Student in eighth grade. He is an honor student and serves on a special advisory committee made up of students and faculty at DeKalb High School. To achieve Eagle rank, a Scout must earn 21 merit badges; Heinsohn has earned 40. His enthusiasm, his dedication to the ideals of Scouting and his steadfast determination to accomplish those goals he seeks is in large part what brought him to the rank of Eagle Scout.

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