Sam Krebs, an SGI senior, has recently achieved the highlight of his scouting career. A journey that began in 2006 when Sam joined scouts as a Tiger Cub reached a climax on a snowy April afternoon in Sprague Brook Park. On Saturday, April 7, a Court of Honor was held at the Casino Pavilion in the park to award Sam his Eagle Scout rank.  The event was attended by the members of Sam’s  Boy Scout troop, dignitaries from the community, as well as friends and family.  Sam is a scout in Troop 524, which is based in Springville, and is sponsored by American Legion Post 431.

Less than 2 percent of boys who join a Boy Scout troop earn the Eagle Scout rank.  To earn the Eagle Scout rank, the highest advancement rank in Scouting, a Boy Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills.  In addition, a Boy Scout must lead an Eagle Scout service project.

Sam’s service project raised money to fund and construct two Junior Varsity Soccer shelters for SGI.  Sam played soccer for SGI, and recalled his days on the JV field that lacked team shelters.   He wanted to give back to the JV soccer program, and presented the idea of building JV shelters to the SGI administration and maintenance crew.   Joe DeMartino, SGI High School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director, provided support throughout the project.  In addition, Larry Strauss, SGI Maintenance Crew Chief, helped Sam with the site selection and design criteria.  Sam drafted the plans, built a budget estimate, raised over $2,600 in donations, and lead the site preparation and construction of shelters for both the home and away teams.

In recognition of the completed project, DeMartino stated, “Every time a student or member from another district steps behind Springville Elementary, they will have the ability to utilize two of the finest built athletic shelters in Western New York!  The impact has been noticed already as many have commented to the level of expertise to which these shelters were assembled.”

Sam said he made many new friends in the scouting program, and that he has a lot to be thankful for.  “In scouting, I’ve learned survival skills like how to start a fire, ties knots and lashings, and how to cook outdoors.  However, Scouting has also taught me how to get along with others, and how to be a leader or follower depending on the situation.”  During the Court of Honor, Krebs recognized all the organizations that donated money for the sign, including: American Legion Post 431, Kiwanis Club of Springville, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5260, Springville Lions Club, and an anonymous donor.  In addition, the project received generous donations of material from Dave Miller’s Mulch and Gernatt Asphalt Products.  Krebs also thanked the leaders and scouts of the Troop for their help along his trail to Eagle.

Springville Mayor Bill Krebs, who is also the grandfather of Sam, presided over the Court of Honor.  Former Scoutmaster Mike Fullington presented the Eagle award to Sam during the ceremony.  Way back in 1988, Marty Krebs, Sam’s father, also received his Eagle from Mike Fullington, then Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 543 of Springville. Sam’s older brother, Matt, also received his Eagle from Mike Fullington in 2016.

The award of Eagle Scout is a performance-based achievement whose standards have been well-maintained over the years.  To advance through the ranks, a Boy Scout must pass specific tests that are organized by requirements and merit badges.  Merit badges signify the mastery of certain Scoutcraft skills, as well as helping boys increase their skill in an area of personal interest. Of the 136 merit badges available, 21 must be earned to qualify for Eagle Scout.

While a Life Scout, a Scout plans, develops, and gives leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, school, or the community.  In addition to providing service and fulfilling the part of the Scout Oath, “to help other people at all times,” one of the primary purposes of the Eagle Scout service project is to demonstrate or hone, or to learn and develop, leadership skills. Related to this are important lessons in project management and taking responsibility for a significant accomplishment.

Up next for Sam? He will be attending SUNY ESF (College of Environmental Science and Forestry) this fall to study Conservation Biology, a decision he just made last week.

Good luck Sam and thank you for your dedication and service to this community!

Editor’s note: As SGI’s JV soccer coach for the fall 2017 season, I would like to personally thank Sam for his work on the shelter project. The entire team appreciated having it there, not only during the September heat wave, but also on rainy days to prevent all the gear from getting wet. There were enough hooks and space to accommodate everything for the 22 girls on the team and myself, and several coaches from other teams told me how wonderful they were as well. Thank you Sam!