Appreciation for environment helps Boy Scout earn highest rank in Scouting

A service project that helped preserve the natural habitat of the Panzer Local Training Area also helped Carsten Wulff achieve what only four out of every 100 Boy Scouts ever achieve: the rank of Eagle Scout.

With help from nearly a dozen of his fellow Scouts from Stuttgart Boy Scout Troop 324, Wulff spent more than six hours on a damp and cold day last fall cutting down small trees and clearing away overgrown grass and shrubbery to help breathe new life into scores of endangered species and plants on the LTA.

“I choose the environmental clean-up project at the Panzer Local Training Area as my Eagle Scout service project because I’m very interested in the preservation of our natural habitat. I had learned quite a bit about the ecological system at the Panzer LTA and thought my service project could really have an impact there,” said Wulff, who is a senior at the International School of Stuttgart.

The Eagle Scout service project is usually the final requirement a Scout must complete before going in front of a scoutmaster conference and board of review.
However, Wulff still needed to complete 10 of the required 21 merit badges — some of which can take weeks to finish — before his 18th birthday, the ultimate deadline for earning the Eagle Scout badge, only two months away.

“It seemed like an impossible task to have to finish so many merit badges in such a short period of time, but after the LTA service project, I set my mind to completing the requirements and knock off one merit badge after another,” said Wulff, the son of Martin and Ellen Wulff.

Troop 324 leader John Cass also saw Wulff’s goal as a daunting task.

“Even I had my doubts that he could pull this one off, but the fact that he stayed with it to completion is a testament to his determination and desire to be an Eagle Scout,” Cass said.

“Every project that Carsten (Wulff) has done as a Boy Scout has always been planned out and executed well,” Cass added.

Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout is not easy, but, according to Wulff, it is an accomplishment that he will benefit from for years to come.

“I will reflect on the challenges I faced and overcame to become an Eagle Scout whenever I have similar challenges in the future,” Wulff said. “I encourage all Scouts to take the extra effort to earn the rank of Eagle. It may not be easy, but if you set your mind to it, you can achieve it.”