By Jan Rahn
A fresh new look has been given to the flag poles at the Fairview Cemetery west of Grant thanks to the efforts of two brothers earning their Eagle Scout badges.
Christian and Chase Miyamoto spent many hours preparing, painting and replacing hardware on 155 flagpoles.
The flag project as a whole is special to the boys. As young Scouts, they have participated in hanging flags to honor veterans for many years.
Christian began his scouting at the age of six in Tiger Cubs. He is in his 11th year. Younger brother Chase also entered the Scouts while in first grade. He has been with the organization for nine years.
Christian’s portion of the project was delayed somewhat due to a trip to China as a student ambassador. His original plan was to travel to Japan, however, a tsunami in March devastated the country, which led to rerouting his trip.
While he was in China, brother Chase got started preparing the poles and repainting them to be ready for the new hardware.
The brothers are proud of their project and that they can be a part of the community’s betterment through the Eagle Scout program.
While hanging flags for Memorial Day the past few years, Christian and his family noticed the wear of the poles and hardware.
The ropes were fraying and breaking, and the clips were broken and aging. The Scouts were forced to fix some of the ropes and use zip ties to hang the flags.
“I thought it would benefit the cemetery keepers if I replaced and updated all of the clips and ropes,” he said.
As far as anyone knows, the ropes and hardware had not been updated for at least 15 years.
The dilapidated ropes were replaced with weather-resistant, solid braid nylon and the new clips are nickel plated.
Earning his Eagle Scout badge will be an important accomplishment to the young man who has already earned 30 merit badges, including emergency preparedness, first aid/CPR, citizenship and personal management as well as rock climbing, astronomy and shotgun shooting.
He and his brother have been to numerous camps, including Camp Augustine in Grand Island, along with two camps in the Colorado Rockies—Ben Delatour and Camp Laramie Peak.
Annual troop campouts at Heart Lake at Snowy Range in Wyoming and at Chadron State Park have been a part of the boys’ scouting journey.
Christian has held several positions in his troop over the years, including senior patrol leader, chaplain, librarian, assistant patrol leader and quartermaster.
He will be a senior at Perkins County High School this fall. Unfortunately, the athletic young man broke his arm recently during football camp, which takes him away from one of his favorite sports for a while.
He also enjoys wrestling, taking part in mock trial, drama, spring plays, one-acts, musicals, speech and band, including jazz, marching, concert and pop. He is a member of the National Honor Society and the Student Council.
Outside of school, Christian enjoys baseball, swim team, lifeguarding, and is a member of the Perkins County Youth Council and the Nebraska Governor’s Youth Advisory Council.
Chase got his project idea while attending a Grant City Council meeting when council members were discussing approval of his brother’s project.
The council questioned whether the poles would be painted before replacing the hardware. The two projects together would be time and cost prohibitive for one person, so Chase was asked if he would like the painting project.
The poles were beginning to develop areas of rust and exhibited unsightly scrape marks where the clips have rubbed.
The rusted and scraped areas were primed and all of the poles painted by Chase using an outdoor metal paint used on propane tanks, etc., to withstand the elements.
Chase’s Scouting History
Since entering Tiger Cubs in the first grade, Chase has earned 23 merit badges, including first aid/CPR, emergency preparedness, personal management, environmental science, as well as golf, rifle shooting and space exploration.
In 2010, he was inducted into the Order of the Arrow, which is the Boy Scouts National Honor Society.
Chase also enjoys camping and has participated in the same outings as his brother.
He served as den chief to Pack 160 Cub Scouts and has held the positions of assistant patrol leader, chaplain, chaplain’s aide, librarian, scribe and historian.
In looking forward to the start of the 2011-12 school year, Chase will be a sophomore who will take part in some of his favorite extracurricular activities, including football, basketball, speech, drama, one acts, musicals, spring plays, and band.
He is also a member of the Perkins County Youth Council and the swim team. He enjoys baseball and is a member of the 4-H Shooters trap team.
No quick or simple achievement
It can take months to get an Eagle Scout project completed in order to earn the coveted badge.
It takes a lot of time to accomplish the steps required.
Scouts must come up with an idea for a project. They then discuss their idea with troop leaders and get their approval.
The Miyamoto brothers attended meetings to seek approval and signatures from the Grant Cemetery Board and Grant City Council members.
Information must be gathered and research done on materials needed.
Scouts must get estimates on costs of all materials, prepare a plan and complete a 12-page project workbook that outlines the project and budget, along with pictures, estimates of time involved, safety issues, etc.
The workbook is then submitted to the council office in North Platte for review and approval.
Scouts must raise funds for their project by solicitation only; no public fundraisers can be held.
Materials are ordered, help is lined up, and the project gets underway.