From left: Nathaniel Hauda, Nicholas Hodge, Melinda Hauda, Nathaniel Raudenbush, JP Diaz, Senior Patrol Leader for Boy Scout Troop 55.
Troop 55 recently welcomed Nathaniel Hauda, Nicholas Hodge and Nathaniel Raudenbush into their Eagle Scout ranks. The three seniors were recognized at a Court of Honor at St. Francis Episcopal Church. Reverend Lucey welcomed guests and commended the newest Eagle Scouts for their perseverance and leadership in achieving Scouting’s highest honor. Frank Smith, who recently retired from Boy Scouts after 70 years of service to Scouting, represented the Powhatan District to officially open the ceremony.
Nathaniel Hauda is a Senior at Langley High School. He enjoys computers and is involved with the Best Buddy program. Nathaniel has been active in Scouting since he was eleven years old, and is continuing his Scouting career as an adult leader with Boy Scout Troop 55. Great Falls Park was the beneficiary for Nathaniel’s Eagle Scout Project. Under the direction of National Park Ranger Andrew Turner-Au, Nathan developed a plan to replace three wooden benches in the park with recycled plastic and steel materials. Great Falls Park requested a design which would be aesthetically pleasing but also durable given the heavy use, the exposure to the elements, and the effect of wildlife. Two of the benches were replaced at the most heavily used part of the park, Overlook 2 near the falls. The third bench was replaced at the walking bridge along the river path, a place where visitors can rest when using the river path.
Nicholas Hodge is a Senior at Langley High School where he serves as Secretary General for the Model United Nations Club, plays the tenor sax in the Marching Band, and is an officer for the Latin Honor Society. Hodge and Nathaniel Raudenbush began Scouting in first grade, earned their Arrow of Light, and joined Boy Scout Troop 55 in fifth grade. Nick Hodge completed his Eagle project thanks to the helpful direction of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Great Falls, and their preschool director, Heidi Toloczko. Toloczko wanted to improve the path that preschoolers and parishioners used between the church building and the parking lot and playground. Prior to Nick’s project, there was a slope that was difficult to maneuver and became slippery in the rain. Nick designed a set of terraced steps and took the design to the building engineer. Once the plan was approved by the church, Boy Scouts from Troop 55 and Troop 673 worked hard over two days to implement the design. The result was a pleasant path leading from the church that is used daily by preschoolers and church members.
Nathaniel Raudenbush is a Great Falls resident and a high school Senior at the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Conn., where he is a goalie for the ice hockey team. For his Eagle Scout Project, Raudenbush constructed a boardwalk through a swamp trail at Great Falls National Park. The previous trail was destroyed by storms and as a result the trail was not passable. Raudenbush re-built the trails by constructing seven raised platforms and put gravel in between the platforms to stabilize the platforms and direct the flow of water. As a result of the design, which accounted for the expansion of the wood and the flow of water through the trail, the trail has already withstood several storms and has been regularly used by hikers in the park.
Collectively these Eagle Scouts have camped hundreds of nights, have served in many leadership roles within Troop 55, have completed hundreds of hours of community service and have mentored dozens of younger Scouts. Together they have earned nearly 100 merit badges. They have attended many high adventure excursions including Philmont (backpacking in New Mexico), the marksman program at the Boy Scout Summit in West Virginia, Northern Tier (canoeing through the boundary waters in Canada) and Sea Base (sailing and camping in the Florida Keys). All three Scouts credit their outstanding leadership and public speaking skills to the experiences they gained through their journey to Eagle Scout with Boy Scout Troop 55.