Two Local Teens Earn Their Eagle Scout Badges

by | Feb 2024

Plymouth Eagle Scout CJ Schempp stands next to one of the three benches he made as part of his Eagle Scout project.

Plymouth Eagle Scout CJ Schempp stands next to one of the three benches he made as part of his Eagle Scout project. Photo: Beth Schupanitz

CJ Schempp and Cameron Roed help their communities and attain Boy Scouts’ highest rank in the process.

When you’re out and about in Plymouth and beyond, there’s a chance you’re interacting with a former Eagle Scout project. From park benches to trail steps, picnic tables to flower beds, such public amenities fulfill the Scout Oath: “To help other people at all times.”

In the case of 17-year-old Golden Valley resident Cameron Roed, part of his Eagle Scout project was to revive a 20-year-old Eagle Scout project that was starting to feel the effects of time. “When I was going around [Plymouth Congregational Church], I could tell that there [were] dilapidated [garden] beds, which an older adult who was an Eagle Scout had made,” he says. “I felt that I had some obligation to make that place look a little prettier for people that were in that area.”

The Armstrong High School junior considered the needs of the congregation and developed a proposal for an accessible picnic table. “It has an overhang to the sidewalk for people with wheelchairs,” Cameron says, noting that he designed the picnic table to accommodate both wheelchairs and powerchairs.

CJ Schempp (middle left, wearing dark blue) and Cameron Rhoads (middle right, wearing light blue) pose in front of the picnic table that was part of Cameron's Eagle Scout project.

CJ Schempp (front row, wearing a dark blue jacket and white hat) and Cameron Roed (middle of the front row, wearing a light blue shirt) pose in front of the picnic table that was part of Cameron’s Eagle Scout project. Photo: Jennifer Theis

Cameron’s biggest takeaway from the project? Learning to incorporate the feedback of multiple governing bodies and decide when compromises need to be made. 

But the paperwork and the planning meetings are just the start. Next, Eagle Scout candidates must prove their leadership and delegation skills by overseeing the building team, often composed of fellow Boy Scouts. Plymouth resident and West Lutheran High School senior CJ Schempp was part of Cameron’s team, just as Cameron was part of his. “We’ve known each other for a while, so it’s only proper and respectful to help each other with our [Eagle Scout projects],” CJ says.

Cameron Rhoads helping with CJ Schempp's Eagle Scout project.

Cameron Roed helping with CJ Schempp’s Eagle Scout project. Photos: Beth Schupanitz

CJ, 18, was also inspired by his local community, electing to build benches in the Tiburon neighborhood where he lives. “We built three benches, and I guided some of the other boys who came, as part of your [project] requirement, and left the benches up there for the [homeowners] association to enjoy,” CJ says.

One of CJ Schempp's finished benches.

One of CJ Schempp’s finished benches.

Only roughly 2 percent of all Boy Scouts throughout history go on to achieve the Eagle Scout rank, but CJ says it was the natural conclusion to his scout journey. “It’s the years of work that go into it, the small little things,” CJ says. “It kind of all piled up and came to a big conclusion.”

CJ and Cameron’s time together in Troop 534 has impacted both their future plans. “Now that I’m not focused on doing my Eagle rank, I’m more focused on helping the younger scouts, being a troop guide, which is teaching the younger scouts how to do stuff,” Cameron says. 

CJ has similar plans, influenced by the love of camping and hiking he discovered through Boy Scouts. “This summer, there’s a pretty decent possibility that I’m going to go into being a camp counselor, as well as firefighting, and then college,” he says. “Being an Eagle [Scout] has opened college doors, has opened career doors. It’s a stepping stone.”


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