Through the generosity of Mutual of Omaha, Mutual of Omaha Bank, and Dan Neary, 2008 chairman of the Mid-America Council board, a statue of an eagle, the symbol of our freedom and representational of the highest rank in Scouting, graces the entrance of Camp Eagle, a premier Boy Scout camp located near Cedar Bluffs, NE.
The statue of a bald eagle in flight with wings spread wide is aptly titled, Bald Eagle in Flight. With a 20-foot wingspan, and constructed of cordon steel mounted on a pedestal, the awe-inspiring statue weighs 3,000 pounds and stands nearly two stories tall.
The dedication ceremony for the statue was held Saturday at 10:00 a.m., August 16, 2014 at Camp Eagle, Covered Wagon Scout Ranch, 2911 County Road 15, Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska.
John Rickerts welcomed all to the dedication ceremony and introduced the guest speakers. Guest speakers included Eric Magendantz, Troy Schmidtke, and Dan Owens. Rickert serves as properties committee chairman for Mid-America Council (MAC), Boy Scouts of America, is an Eagle Scout and a long-time member of Nani-Ba-Zhu.
He said, “When I first read the email about the eagle last spring, I knew Camp Eagle should be its home, and was ready to find the funding through NBZ members donations.” John didn’t have to go that route, because the MAC properties committee, the board, and everyone wanted the eagle to land at Camp Eagle.
Eric Magendantz, Mid-America Council Scout Executive shared the story of the eagle during the ceremony. Bald Eagle in Flight is the work of artist Todd Andrews. Find more information about Todd Andrews and his commissioned sculptures at www.toddandrewssculpture.com.
Tony Schmidtke, LEED®AP project manager for the eagle statue project and with the Weitz Company, explained the construction of the eagle and base, “Below the eagle are two 8 foot by 8 foot precast concrete foundations. Each weighing 20,000 lbs. These foundations have steel embed plates that were cast into the concrete to allow the two precast concrete pedestals to be connected by a series of welds.”
“The two precast concrete pedestals are a colored concrete with an exposed aggregate finish. Those pedestals also have embed plates welded into them so the base of the eagle could be welded down. After the eagle was set, the frame below the eagle was painted and the landscaping was completed. Each feather of the eagle is made of steel and welded in layers on the frame,” Schmidtke concluded.
Schmidtke pointed out the exact feather signed by the artist – look for the third feather closest to the body of the eagle on the right side, on the bottom of the wing.
Mike Homa, president of the Mutual of Omaha Bank stated, “The eagle was originally on top of the bank in downtown Lincoln. About 3 years ago the bank relocated and the eagle statue was placed in storage in a Mutual of Omaha storage unit in Blair. Last spring, I sent out an email invitation to several organizations to see if they would be interested in the eagle. And if so, what would they do with it, and how would the eagle have a positive impact on the mission of their organization?”
“There is no doubt in my mind that Camp Eagle is the best home for the eagle, and I hope having the eagle statue here inspires and motivates Scouts and families,” shared Homa.
One of the highlights, and most colorful participant in the dedication ceremony, was Sidney Has No Horses in ceremonial regalia. He is a medicine man for the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe at Pine Ridge Reservation. He sang and blessed the eagle, and spoke of lessons learned and those to be learned by youth and leaders at Camp Eagle and those gathered.
While he spoke, Rod Van Horn, a member of NBZ and long-time Scouter, passed smoking sage leaves among the circle of attendees and the eagle statue to purify the statue and members ready to receive the blessing. Four Red-tailed hawks were spotted circling above the eagle statue during the ceremonial blessing in previously empty, blue skies.
NBZ stands for Nani-Ba-Zhu, the honorary camping and service society in the Mid-America Council. Men who entered the program as youth are still passionately dedicated to it today, and work tirelessly to improve the program, membership, and the Mid-America Council Scout camps. Saturday was a regalia building day for NBZ members, and after sunset an NBZ advancement ceremony was conducted around the campfire. Many Scouts and leaders at Camp Cedars for the NBZ weekend walked over to see the eagle statue at Camp Eagle. Read more about NBZ:http://www.mac-bsa.org/camp_nani.aspx.
The Mid-America Council, Boy Scouts of America sincerely thanks Mutual of Omaha, Mutual of Omaha Bank, and Dan Neary, former chairman of the Mid-America Council for their generous donation. And, also thanks the following Eagle project contributors: The Weitz Company; American Concrete Products; Performance Engineering; Mid-America Council Properties Committee Chairman, John Rickert; Project Engineer, Bob Soukup; Project Manager, Troy Schmidtke; Project Lead, Doug Carlson; Jimmy Brasch, Scott Erikson, Steve Kuzelka, Mike Mayne, and Marty Wiedenman.
Read more about the eagle:
Former Lincoln eagle lands at Camp Eagle, thanks to Mutual of Omaha donation:
Read more about Todd Andrews and his art works: http://www.toddandrewssculpture.com/sculpture.html
Author and photos – Dixie Wagner, Mid-America Council, Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scout Organizes Toy Drive for Pediatric Patients Hospitalized at The Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, Neb – At the age of 13, Doug Pepper noticed his eyes were turning yellow. The teen from Indianola, Iowa was also fatigued. A trip to the doctor confirmed, Pepper had autoimmune hepatitis – his body’s immune system was attacking his liver.
“It’s caused by a virus that can be in your body for a number of years. Mine was there without any symptoms,” explains Pepper. “At first, doctors in Des Moines tried using fluids to heal my liver, but it finally got to the point where I needed a transplant. They gave me the choice of going to the Mayo Clinic or The Nebraska Medical Center.”
In December 2012, Pepper underwent a successful liver transplant at the med center. During his almost 7-week stay, Pepper relied on the Child Life Services staff to keep his spirits high.
“They had plenty of activities that allowed me to meet new, different-storied people. I really enjoyed art days, watching movies, pet therapy and a special visit from some Monster Jam drivers. Child Life completely changed my stay at the hospital.”
Almost two years after his transplant, Pepper is working towards becoming an Eagle Scout with his home troop in Iowa. To help achieve his Eagle Scout goal, Pepper has organized two supply drives for Child Life Services. The first drive was held in Indianola on August 9. Pepper and his troop collected 1,143 supplies along with gift cards and cash donations. The second drive will be held in Omaha on August 16.
“Even in the hospital, kids need opportunities to be kids,” says Lisa Wallace-Spech, child life specialist at the med center. “Play is such an important tool in helping children cope with hospitalization. Supporting Doug in this drive will not only help him in reaching his goal of achieving Eagle Scout, it will also help him and his fellow scouts with the opportunity to help others in the community.”
The Omaha supply drive will be held on Saturday, August 16 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the front doors of the Walmart on South 72nd Street. Due to the safety and well-being of patients, all toys and supplies must be new to reduce the risk of infection. Those interested in donating are encouraged to give:
- Easy read children’s books
- DVD’s (nothing rated R)
- Puzzles (under 200 pieces)
- Play dough and small cookie cutters
- Bubbles (in a spill proof container)
- Thomas & Friends toy trains
- Barbie Dolls and clothing
- Craft supplies (markers, scissors, crayons, glitter glue, acrylic paints, fuzzy posters, canvases, items to paint, etc.)
- Games for teenagers (playing cards, UNO, Skip-Bo, etc.)
- Gift cards to Walmart and iTunes
“People should donate because it goes to help hospitalized kids who are going through a difficult time in life,” encourages Pepper. “I’m doing this because I can relate to their experience.”
Pepper plans to deliver all the donations to the med center on Saturday, September 6. The supplies will be used in the hospital’s playroom and Teen Room for group and individual activities. Toys will also be taken to the child’s bedside if they are too sick to come out of their room. Other supplies will be used as gifts during carnival night and patients’ birthday parties.
“It really gives meaning to everything Doug has been through,” smiles Wallace-Spech. “We are the lucky ones to get to know kids like Doug and the impact they make.”
If you’re unable to attend the Omaha supply drive, but would still like to make a donation, contact the hospital’s Office of Development at (402) 552-2029.
WHAT: Supply drive for Child Life Services at The Nebraska Medical Center. Supplies will help pediatric patients who are staying at the hospital.
WHEN: Saturday, August 16 from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Walmart at 1606 S. 72nd Street, Omaha, NE
OTHER: If you plan to attend, please contact Jenny Nowatzke (402) 740-8148.
With a reputation for excellence, innovation and extraordinary patient care, The Nebraska Medical Center is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Top Hospitals in cancer, neurology/neurosurgery, pulmonology, gastroenterology, urology and nephrology. It has earned J.D. Power and Associates’ Hospital of Distinction award for inpatient services for six consecutive years and has also achieved Magnet recognition status for nursing excellence. As the teaching hospital for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, this 627 licensed bed academic medical center has an international reputation for providing solid organ and bone marrow transplantation and is well known nationally and regionally for its oncology, neurology and cardiology programs. The Nebraska Medical Center can be found online at www.nebraskamed.com
(Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These disciplines are considered by many to be the foundation of an advanced society. In many forums — including political, governmental, and academic — the strength of the STEM workforce is viewed as an indicator of a nation’s ability to sustain itself.
To engage our youth members in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the Boy Scouts of America created new program initiatives emphasizing STEM in the context of the current advancement programs. The BSA STEM initiative gives Scouts an opportunity to explore relevant skills and experiences, and to be recognized for their achievements. The aim is to expose youth to new opportunities and help them develop the STEM skills critical for the competitive world marketplace. Our council is implementing these initiatives.
HOW TO GET STEM STARTED IN YOUR UNIT – Get in on the FUN!
Questions? Contact Michelle Hurt, STEM Staff Advisor, at 402-514-3067.
We are pleased to announce the 2014 Boy Scout Month at Bass Pro Shops; “Providing a Compass for Life!” This promotion will last the entire month of September.
Bass Pro Shops continues to be a generous partner and sponsor of the Boy Scouts of America. Over the past three years, this promotion has generated more than $300,000 for the BSA and, more importantly, provided opportunities for hundreds of young people to participate in merit badge workshops with expert counselors and phenomenal materials. We are grateful to Bass Pro Shops and proud to count them among our partners.
Click the links below for more information and for a listing of Merit Badge classes offered at our local Bass Pro Shops