Scout creates memorial for grandpa

A local scout has dedicated his Eagle Scout project to his grandfather, along with residents and staff members at Auglaize Acres.

Wapakoneta High School junior Gabe Williams, who has been working on his Eagle Scout project since last fall, recently put the finishing touches on the project at the county nursing home. Williams built a bench and created a garden around the flag pole in the front of Auglaize Acres, near the parking lot.

“I got the idea to do my Eagle Scout project here because my grandpa (Richard Williams) retired and passed away here,” the son of Wendy Williams and Greg Williams said. “It’s a garden in memory of my grandpa, residents and employees here.”

Williams’s grandfather had resided at Auglaize Acres for three years until he died at the beginning of Williams’s freshman year of high school.

Williams, along with his troop, Troop 14, which is lead by Dr. George Herman, spent 150.5 hours working on the project, which includes the planning phase to the completion of the project.

For his project, Williams built a wooden bench during his agriculture class at Wapakoneta High School, and he also planted bushes for a garden, and designed a rock to commemorate the garden.

He engraved and painted the rock at Wapak Monuments, with the help of friend Collin Schneider, and for the garden, his uncle Blaine Kohler helped him.

“The way we planned it out was I sat down with my uncle Blaine (co-owner of Village Green, in Wapakoneta) and he really encouraged me to design it my own way, and he helped me pick plants,” Williams said. “I also got stones through Village Green.”

The stones surround the plants in the garden.

In addition, Williams installed spotlights to shine on the two flags on the flag pole, and Tim Clay had helped him wire the lights.

Williams joined the Cub Scouts when he was in first-grade, and then moved up to Boy Scout rank when he was in fifth-grade. He has earned a total of 38 merit badges.

He said through the scouting program, he has learned many skills.

“One of the main things was taking a leadership role and knowing how to speak in front of people,” Williams said. “My favorite part is being outdoors and being with a group of people that likes to do the same thing I do.”

Also, he has learned responsibility.

“It taught me what it means to be a part of something,” Williams said. “I also enjoy the friends I made.”

On the completion of his Eagle Scout project, Williams said it feels good to be done.

“I drive past it everyday on the way to my mom’s,” Williams said. “I look at it and say ‘I planned that and lead the completion of that.’”