Gateway: Living

Boy Scout builds fence around iconic tree at Sehmel Park

Boy Scout Anders Carlson finishes off his Eagle Scout project at Sehmel Park with his father, Eric.
Boy Scout Anders Carlson finishes off his Eagle Scout project at Sehmel Park with his father, Eric. Special to the Gateway

There is a beautiful, enormous tree in PenMet Parks’ Sehmel Park at which, more than once, I’ve taken photos of Boy Scouts engaged in projects near.

The latest of these was to catch the final act of Boy Scout Troop 212’s Eagle Scout project by Anders Carlson, who’d decided the tree needed protection and chose as his Eagle project creation of a guardian split rail fence. Carlson has been involved in the troop since fifth grade and previously was in Cub Scout Pack 202.

“I started planning the project in October 2015 with PenMet,” Carlson said. “I managed everything from applying for a financial grant, to shopping for all of the materials, to making sure everyone would show up to my project that had signed up. The hardest part was the planning. Then, once we completed the fence, it was amazing how all the planning paid off. It was accomplished within three days. The fence length is about 310 feet.”

Said Scout Alex Hooper, “I participated in this project to help out my community. We worked hard, but still had fun.”

Scout Tyler Carr said, “Helping with Anders’ Eagle project was a fun and creative way to give a long-lasting impact on our community for all to share. It was one of the bigger Eagle projects we have done. Because of so much participation, we got it done really efficiently.”

“A Scout’s Eagle project reflects well-developed skills of citizenship training, character development, personal fitness, servant leadership and community service,” Scoutmaster David Aston said. “An Eagle project is the culminating project of the scouting experience and reflects in several ways all that scouts have learned and its application to their community. Eagle rank is significant. It shows a continuous, dedicated commitment to the good of community.”

Scout Jace Forbush participated because he “wanted to help out our community and a fellow Scout. Building the fence was a great experience, which taught leadership to younger scouts and set a goal for all scouts to achieve.”

Scout Jonathan Grady participated in the project in order “to give back to the troop.”

Said scout Blaze Manglona, “I had a great time giving back to our community by assisting Anders in his Eagle Scout project. Myself and other scouts learned life skills that will help us in our futures.”

“As a kid,” said Carlson, “I would go to the park even before it was developed to hike and geocache. I have participated in many sports, activities, and walking my dog at this location. I wanted to contribute to the place that has been an influential part of my upbringing.”

Carlson thanks the 23 young people, seven adults and Home Depot, Purdy Topsoil, Wilco and PenMet, “who made it happen!”

As if Carlson didn’t have enough on his plate, he just returned from the the National Canoe and Kayak competitions in Oklahoma City where his boat took a silver medal.

Carlson exemplifies the Scout Motto: “Be Prepared!”

Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at