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Soaring High

Three local scouts celebrate their status of Eagle Scout


by: PHOTO COURTSEY OF DIANE CARBONE - PHOTO COURTSEY OF DIANE CARBONE Three members of the Boy Scout patrol group the 'Knights of Ni' have moved on together to become  Eagle Scouts. From left are Chris Weinert, Nathan Thorne and Connor Nagel.For the past few years, Connor Nagel, Chris Weinert and Nathan Thorne have been known as the Knights of Ni, galloping around Boy Scout camp and clunking coconuts together a la Monty Python.

After many years of crafts and trips, shenanigans and life lessons, the three 18-year-olds have earned the status of Eagle Scout.

Nagel, Weinert and Thorne celebrated their final advancement as scouts together Wednesday, Aug. 8. However, Weinert and Thorne earned their statuses of Eagle Scouts about a year ago. They waited to share their final ceremony with Nagel.

“I’m really happy to do this with two of my closest friends. They’ve waited a year,” Nagel said.

Thorne said he didn’t mind waiting at all.

The trio began in Boy Scouts when they were in elementary school. They said back then it was all fun and no work. Slowly through the years, lessons were worked in. It started with a 5-mile hike that accidentally turned into a 12-mile hike during the summer they moved from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts (their hiking group got lost). It’s here they learned to stick with things, even when they get hard.

Learning how to tie knots was a staple, Nagel said, as was cooking properly while camping — or rather, “cooking decently.” Nagel said a camp favorite and longtime scouting tradition was chicken a la Coke, a tasty concoction of ketchup, Coke and chicken that turns out like chicken with barbecue sauce. Nagel also remembers making cakes, cobblers and even pie while camping.

Gresham’s Troop 586 is a boy-led troop. “We like to call it organized chaos,” said committee chairman Mike Malloy. “We’ve got to let boys be boys. They have to fail before they succeed.”

The boys met every Tuesday at Dexter McCarty Middle School with about 50 others. Groups of five or six boys form patrols within the troop. Nagel, Weinert and Thorne, along with three other boys, named their group the Knights of Ni, a reference to characters in the 1975 movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

To earn the status of Eagle Scout, they had to complete a menagerie of requirements including a final project by their 17th birthday.

For his Eagle Scout project, Christopher James Weinert organized the installation and construction of two lifeguard stands at Glenn Otto Community Park in Troutdale. Meanwhile, Nagel built boxes for barn owls, and Thorne built platforms for Oregon’s endangered painted turtles to sunbathe on.

“Scouting has taught me a lot about the value of active participation in the community,” Thorne said. “It was a project I wanted to do.”

Weinart’s father, Alan, said it’s unique so many of his son’s patrolmates have become Eagle Scouts. “One in 100 boys who join the Boy Scouts of America will accomplish the ultimate award, the Eagle rank. The members of The Knights of Ni are a unique patrol within Troop 586 of Gresham, Oregon, because five of the six members (are) Eagle Scouts.”

Alan Weinart said he thinks Troop 586’s formula for success is leadership, adult volunteers, great camps and “a dream to soar like an eagle, topped off with a little Oregon rain.”



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