Ashton Heald, 15, set his sights on earning his Eagle early in his Scouting career. Ashton’s dad, Andrew Heald, earned his Eagle in 1983 with Troop 419 in Madison and has been a great role model for Ashton’s trail to Eagle. Ashton was a Cub Scout with Pack 419 in Madison and was in the Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos I, and Webelos II dens. When Ashton was a Webelos he earned the highest award for Cub Scouts, Arrow of Light, which is the only award that can be carried over to his Boy Scout career.

Ashton decided his Eagle project would enhance an existing area that has been set aside for youth groups of Madison. With the help of his fellow Scouts, designed a walking and educational nature trail. The trail goes from the common area at the park and leads participants through the woods to Jones Brook where one can stop and watch birds, and enjoy the small pond. Beavers are busy at this area and usually have a lodge near by. Those who walk the trail can notice several different fern areas, wild berries, flowers, and many different trees. As the seasons change the trail transforms and gives the walker a new and wonderful experience.

Tracks and scat by several different animals including deer and moose have been discovered.

Ashton met with the Kennebec Valley District Advancement Committee from the Pine Tree Council BSA on Oct. 28, 2015, and presented his finished scrapbook and reports to the board. Ashton answered questions asked by the board and was granted Eagle Rank, the national BSA office later sent a letter confirming Ashton’s success.

Ashton’s family and Troop hosted the official Eagle banquet recently at the American Legion Hall Post 39 Madison, in which Ashton received his Eagle certificate and medal. Teachers, family, friends, fellow Scouts and special guests were in attendance to honor and help celebrate Ashton’s hard work.

Special guests included Sen. Scott Cyrway, Sen. Rod Whittemore, State Rep. Bradlee Farrin, R-Norridgewock, and Chuck Mahaleris, representing both U.S. Sen. Susan Collins office and BSA Kennebec Valley advance board. Also in attendance was Cmdr. H. Ralph Withee from the American Legion Post 39. Post 39 is the chartered organization that sponsors the Troop.

After the ceremony, a buffet, prepared by Ashton’s aunts and grandmother, was held.

Ashton is the son of Ann and Andrew Heald, and a Madison Area High School sophomore.

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