Concordia teen receives Eagle Scout Award, honored by city

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Caleb Pfannkuch shakes hands with Mayor Michael Brown at the Concordia Board of Aldermen meeting Monday, April 3, when the city honored him with a proclamation. Pfannkuch attained Eagle Scout status on Sunday, March 26, after earning 26 merit badges and demonstrating Scout Spirit and leadership within his troup. “... he must plan, develop and lead a service project that demonstrates both leadership and a commitment to duty, which Caleb developed and built a flag retirement facility for the community at the Boy Scout Cabin and completed an Eagle Scout Board of Review,” Brown stated in the proclamation. “Eagle Scouts are expected to set an example for other Scouts and become leaders in life ... Caleb now joins the ranks of notable recipients receiving Eagle Scout in their youth, including Neil Armstrong, Charles Duke, Sam Walton and Gerald Ford ... and we congratulate him on a job well done.” (Bob Stewart/The Concordian)

At 9 years old, when Caleb Pfannkuch started Cub Scouts, he wasn’t even thinking about being an Eagle Scout. Caleb enjoyed the Scouting activities, but said it wasn’t until he was about 15 years old that he started to give the possibility of being an Eagle Scout some serious thought.

“When I was 9, I saw being an Eagle Scout as something that was very prestigious,” he said. “Eagle Scouts, in my eyes, were revered and viewed as the leaders they are and are supposed to be.”

Even with the consistent encouragement of his parents, grandparents and troop leaders, he still struggled to make it a priority. The day before his grandfather, Victor Kimball, went in for heart surgery, his grandfather made him promise to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. When his grandfather didn’t return home from the surgery, Caleb knew he had to fulfill the promise he had made.

“My grandfather was one of the main reasons I achieved Eagle Scout,” he said. “He always wanted me to go for it and was always asking me where I was in Scouting. When he passed away it was a big wake-up call to honor his last wishes and to go on to become an Eagle Scout.”

Now, after a great deal of hard work and determination, Caleb has been awarded the Eagle Scout pin, fulfilling the promise that he made to his late grandfather.

Pfannkuch, who is now 18 and a member of Boy Scout Troop 258 in Concordia for seven years, was honored at a special Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony on Sunday, March 26. To earn Scouting’s highest award a scout has to earn 21 merit badges — Caleb has earned 26 — serve as a leader in his troop, and complete a major community service project. Caleb’s service project took place on the grounds of the Concordia Scout Cabin. Leading 12 Scouts and adults, he built a permanent flag retirement facility to be used during future flag retirement ceremonies. The project took more than three months to complete.

Caleb has served the troop as patrol leader, quartermaster, instructor and senior patrol leader. He is the son of Alyssa and David Pfannkuch, of Concordia, and a senior at Concordia High School.

“I want to say how thankful I am for my parents,” he said. “They were always there for me and were always encouraging me to finish my Eagle Scout requirements. And they pushed me to get it done for me – not just for them or because I had promised my grandfather – but for me.”

Caleb recently joined the Delayed Entry Program for the United States Marine Corps. Upon completing his basic training, he will earn another rank due to his Eagle Scout achievement. Caleb will leave for basic training on June 19.

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