Nathan Loutsch, 16, and Benjamin Wagner, 17, both of Milbank have joined the ranks of those who soar with the Eagles. They earned the highest award the Boy Scouts of America offers to scouts – the Eagle Scout Award. Loutsch and Wagner will be recognized in a ceremony on Saturday, August 6, at 9:30 a.m. at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Milbank. The public is cordially invited to attend.
“Only about 4% of all Boy Scouts attain the Eagle rank,” explained the scoutmaster of Troop 45, Jeff Loutsch. “Each candidate must earn 21 merit badges and successfully complete a community, church, or synagogue-related service project to earn his Eagle.”
Nathan chose to organize and install a second flag pole, add a concrete path for the flagpoles, and landscape that area of Pribyl Park. “I addressed City Administrator Jason Kettwig for his input on what the city needed and had funding for,” he stated.
For Troop 45, Nathan served as Webmaster, Assistant Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader. He is a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow and was the lodge secretary for two years. In addition, he served on staff for the National Youth Leadership Training the past two summers. “I wanted to become an Eagle Scout because my older brother, Chris, was one,” Nathan said, ” I feel good I accomplished this, but there is much more to do.”
Nathan is a member of American Lutheran Church and is also active in oral interpretation, debate, theater, student congress, band, choir, FFA, cross country, and tennis. He is employed at Valley Office Products and works as a referee for the Grant County Soccer Association. He is a sophomore at Milbank High School and the son of Jeff and Marie Loutsch.
Wagner’s project involved organizing the construction, installation, and maintenance of a series of wood duck houses he placed around Milbank. “I chose this project because of the need for wood duck houses at the water fowl areas in town. My grandpa, Carroll Pirmantgen, found a house pattern and he, my dad, Dan, and I cut, built, and erected seven houses. We used old stop sign poles as mounts.” Two of the houses are located at Hurley Park, two at the Milbank Visitor Center, and three at Lake Farley Park.
Ben began in Cubs as a first grader. He continued, in part, because his older brothers were both involved. “My brothers, Mitch and Jake, both became Eagle Scouts in 2009 and my dad has been involved in scouting since my brothers were in first grade. All three encouraged me to achieve this goal.”
Ben said, “I am proud to become an Eagle Scout as I start my senior year of high school.” His mom, Beth, added, “It takes a lot of time and dedication to earn badges, propose and plan a project, attend meetings, plus go to school and work two jobs. We have been a scouting family since 1999. Dan and I are very proud of all our children.”
Ben’s favorite scouting activity is summer camp. “I have attended camps all across South Dakota and Minnesota, but my favorite is Camp Tomahawk in Wisconsin.” Ben has served as Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Quartermaster, Assistant Patrol Leader, and Webmaster for Troop 45. He is a member of Emanuel Lutheran Church and is active in band, choir, theater, art, and media club. He is employed at the Mill Theater and Hartman’s Family Foods.
Both young men join an elite group which also includes celebrities who were Eagle Scouts. Among them are: former President Gerald R. Ford, Jr., astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, cinematographer Steven Spielberg, and the former head of the F.B.I., William Sessions.