Eagle Scout completes bridge before moving

While a former Wapakoneta High School student may have transferred to a school in Arkansas, members of a school activity will long remember and appreciate one of the last tasks he did.

Cody Wilges, the son of Gwen and Ed Wilges,  recently completed a bridge in the nature center behind the high school for his Eagle Scout project.

“I talked to the cross country kids and asked them if they could use a bridge for their meets and practices,” Wilges said. “They said, ‘Yes.’ ”

Before he could put hammer to wood to start the project, Wilges contacted Redskin cross country coach Mark Cook. He then had the project approved by Wapakoneta High School Principal Aaron Rex and Scoutmaster George Herman.

Wilges began by raising money for the project by selling tickets for a chicken and rib dinner in the spring.

“I had to take a drawing for approval,” Wilges said. “They approved it and I got to work.”

With classes breaking for the summer, he wasted little time and started his project. A few weeks later, he completed after having worked 120 hours in building the bridge.

But Wilges could not have stay long and admire his project, as he left for Arkansas immediately after it was completed.

However, he was excited about beginning his new chapter in life.

Wilges recently moved and reunited with his parents in Fordyce, Ark., after living with his grandparents Jean and John Gilroy, and attending Wapakoneta schools his entire life. He said he was genuinely happy to be back with his parents.

He will finish his last two years of high school in Arkansas. He plans to finish his last few items of business to acquire his Eagle Scout badge after finding a scout unit in Arkansas.

“I have always wanted to be an Eagle Scout,” Wilges said. “I want to find a unit in Arkansas and finish up. I have four badges to finish up”

Wilges thanked all who helped him complete the project, including scout masters Herman and Jeff West.

However, he said he was glad to leave a lasting memorial of his time in Wapakoneta to say thank you to the community.