Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Unique Location for an Eagle Scout Ceremony

World Bird Sanctuary was honored to attend the Eagle Scout Ceremony of Eric Polashek on Saturday May 26, 2012 at Klondike Park in Augusta, Missouri.
Eric, his family, myself and Myakka, the Bald Eagle...note the unique background
This Eagle Scout Ceremony took place in a very unique location—cliffside at Klondike Park.   Eric was honored, with his back to the cliff face, in the outdoor ceremony at the amphitheater behind Shelter #3.  Klondike Park is beautiful and unusual as it had a previous life as a quarry, very close to the Missouri River.

Myakka our majestic adult male Bald Eagle and I waited in the shade of a sycamore tree for our part in the ceremony.   Our part of the ceremony was to thank Eric and his family and fellow scouts for their project to assist the World Bird Sanctuary in our mission.  Eric's project was the construction of a 50-foot wraparound bench for the outdoor classroom center, located near our library and very close to the eagles that are on our display line. The bench is a beautiful piece of outdoor furniture, very comfortable and functional, and will certainly enhance our outdoor classroom.
Some of the badges and awards Eric earned on his way to the Eagle Scout award
During the ceremony I could not help but listen and see wild birds going about their lives in this beautiful park setting.  I heard or saw 14 species of birds during the ceremony.  What a beautiful setting to enjoy an Eagle Scout Court of Honor!

Eric, and Troop 984 have an interesting history connecting them to the Bald Eagle.    Eric’s father, Frank Polashek, as well as his uncle and a number of other relatives, have all achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.  Eric completed his Eagle project at the young age of 14.  Plus—Eric is the 22nd Eagle Scout from Troop 984 to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.  Troop 984 is based in Dardenne Prairie, Missouri. 

While helping me carry Myaka’s crate, Eric's uncle Dan Martinek, told me that he is from Decorah, Iowa.  You avid Eagle Watchers may know that Decorah, Iowa, is the home of the Eagle nest and Eagle nest Cam that has had over 1 million views to its webcast.  Dan Martinek told me that the Decorah, Iowa, Eagle Web cam is the most visited website ever on the internet. Dan grew up near the Fish Hatchery in Decorah, Iowa, where the Bald Eagles have nested for the past 2 years.   Each year this pair of Eagles has raised 3 Eaglets.

Our thanks also to Home Depot for donating the materials for Eric’s project, and
a big thank you to Eric and his family for a very useful Eagle scout project and a most interesting day for me!

Michael Zeloski, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist/EEC Manager

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