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Troop 33 has two new Eagle Scouts

State Rep. Robert Pritchard was on hand to congratulate Eagle Scouts Matt Watson and Colin Prall at their Court of Honor. Pictured (from left) are Watson, Pritchard and Prall. Provided photos
Eagle Scouts Colin Prall and Matt Watson are in the Troop 33 group photo of 29 Scouts and leaders who traveled to Mississippi and Louisiana in December 2005 on a disaster relief mission following Hurricane Katrina.

Matthew Watson and Colin Prall, Scouts with Troop 33 in DeKalb, have been awarded Scouting's highest rank, the Eagle Scout Award. Both began their Scouting careers as Cub Scouts in Pack 131. In the spring of 2000, they graduated into Boy Scouting and Troop 33. Both have been involved in a variety of activities as Scouts - various day trips, fundraisers, service projects, weekend camping trips and a full week of summer camp multiple times at Camp Lowden near Oregon, Ill. Beyond the usual Scouting activities, they also became involved in high-adventure programs, which eventually took them tens of thousands of miles to 29 states, the District of Columbia, plus Canada and Mexico. In 2002, Watson traveled to the East Coast, which included visiting Philadelphia, the Atlantic beach in New Jersey, whale watching in Gloucester, Mass., climbing Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire and a visit to Niagara Falls. A highlight of that trip was New York City, which included visiting Ground Zero and New York firefighters of Engine Company 204, among the first respondents to the 9/11 attack. This was just months after 9/11, and the firemen provided first-hand accounts of their involvement. That oral history, as related to the boys, was spellbinding and will be something they will always remember. Both Scouts toured the Southwest United States and Mexico with Troop 33 in 2003. That adventure included hiking the narrows of Zion National Park, horseback riding through Bryce Canyon and boating at Lake Powell. In Arizona, they camped and hiked at Grand Canyon, camped at Coconino National Forest, visited Sunset Crater, Wupatki National Monument, Slide Rock State Park, camped in the desert near Phoenix and visited the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson. In Mexico, they toured the fishing port of Guaymas and enjoyed kayaking on the Sea of Cortez at San Carlos In Nevada, they toured Nellis Air Force Base, Hoover Dam and Las Vegas. A highlight for both Scouts in 2004 included traveling to Hawaii where they climbed Diamond Head, hiked through rain forest to a high waterfall, enjoyed beaches at Kailea, Shark's Cove and Barber's Point, snorkeled at Hanuama Bay and toured Pearl Harbor and Honolulu. Other highlights included an authentic luau with local Troop 664 and surfing with Troop 189. On the island of Maui, they bicycled down the Mount Haleakala volcano and explored hidden pools and waterfalls on the road to Hana. Prall took part in a 410-mile Iron Man bike tour to Thunder Bay, Ontario, in 2005. Beginning near Hager City, Wis., Scouts biked along the Mississippi River and St. Croix River, crossed into Minnesota and followed the Munger Trail to Duluth. From Duluth, they biked along the rugged Lake Superior shoreline past waterfalls, lighthouses, great forests and rocky cliffs. They crossed the border into Canada and biked though the mountains of the Canadian Shield and into the city of Thunder Bay. In the summer of 2005, Matt traveled to the AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., the world's largest air show. Scouts camped on-site and visited the EAA Museum, static displays and exhibits and attended air shows. December 2005 found both Scouts traveling to southern Mississippi with Troop 33 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, where they brought 3,000 pounds of critical supplies, helped cook 5,000 meals at God's Katrina Kitchen, helped assemble a new animal rescue center for the city of New Orleans and helped stage a Christmas banquet for homeless military families at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi. In summer 2006, Prall took part in a 500-mile Iron Man bike ride to raise money for libraries devastated by Hurricane Katrina. A group of Troop 33 Scouts biked from Memphis, Tenn., to New Orleans, La. For much of the trip, they followed the historic Nachez Trace. One of the greatest challenges was a major heat wave that rendered a heat index of 100+ degrees during every day of riding. The hottest day was 109 degrees, causing the days' ride to end early. They presented a check for $3,000 at the opening ceremony of the National Library Association Convention in New Orleans before a crowd of 10,000 people. In summer 2007, Prall took part in a bike ride along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, past pristine beaches and picturesque villages, using ferry boats to connect between the various islands. After the cycling portion was complete, Scouts toured Washington, D.C., which included museums, monuments and watching the July 4 fireworks. Watson's Eagle service project included collecting paper products for Hope Haven homeless shelter and completing a variety of repair projects for the facility. He exceeded his goals for collecting paper products, filling storage areas beyond capacity. The son of Chauncey and Karen Watson, Watson is a 2007 graduate of DeKalb High School and a freshman at Kishwaukee College. Prall's Eagle service project included planting thousands of aquatic plants in newly established wetlands at Afton Forest Preserve. His project will help stabilize the soil and provide food, cover and improved habitat for animal life. The son of Rhys and Jocelyn Prall, Prall is a 2007 graduate of DHS and a freshman at Columbia College in Chicago. Both Scouts have assisted their troop at annual planning conferences, helping to create a calendar reflecting their choice for adventures. They spent their Scouting years living their dreams and accomplishing their goals. Troop 33 is sponsored by First Lutheran Church in DeKalb.

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