Douglas Sharples-Schmidt

Douglas Sharples-Schmidt, 16, of Wakonda is pictured with his Eagle Scout project -- an outdoor patio area at the Wakonda Heritage Manor. The project includes a concrete patio area sheltered by a wooden and metal structure. The gazebo features wooden railings, lights, and electricity.

An Eagle Scout project to create an outdoor patio area at the Wakonda Heritage Manor has been completed. The project, undertaken by 16-year-old Douglas Sharples-Schmidt of Wakonda, includes a concrete patio area sheltered by a wooden and metal structure. The gazebo features wooden railings, lights, and electricity.

“The project looks great!” said Patty Anderson, Activities Director at Wakonda Heritage Manor. “The residents have all been talking about it and are really excited to begin using it!”

The patio provides a space for manor residents and members of the community to gather together outside. With the added lighting and electricity installed in the unit, small outdoor concerts and programs will be able to be held under the shelter as well.

Sharples-Schmidt, an Eagle scout candidate with Troop 711 in Harrisburg, decided to pursue this project because he works as a dietary aide at the Wakonda Heritage Manor and he thought this would be something the residents would enjoy and use.

“I think the residents will enjoy having a place outside the front of the Manor where they can sit,” Sharples-Schmidt said. “It will have some benches and chairs, but we are going to wait until spring for those.”

Eagle Scout projects are the culmination of one’s scouting journey. Typically, the projects are large undertakings.

To pursue this one, Sharples-Schmidt first had to write a proposal and have it approved by Scouts BSA and the Wakonda Heritage Manor Board.

Then, he conducted a fundraising campaign to pay for the project, collecting $4,580 from area businesses, organizations, and individuals. He added $500 of his own money to the effort.

Once fundraising was completed in August, Douglas worked with Irene builder Matt Kiger to plan and construct the shelter. Kiger and Douglas (along with occasional help from his siblings) began construction of the patio in mid-September. Douglas also led a work day with scouts from his troop to construct the benches and chairs that will be located under the shelter.

Building the structure took about six weeks from start to finish.

“The project took longer than we thought it would,” says Sharples-Schmidt. “We had to do some things we didn’t expect, like stabilizing the project by adding some railings and adding electrical stuff we decided to add lights.”

The project was officially completed on November 3.

Sharples-Schmidt wishes to thank the following businesses, organizations, and individuals for their generous donations toward this project: Doug and Judi Sharples, Laticia Kaiser, Norma and Jerry Wilson, Marvin Girard Memorial Fund, Dave and Jerilyn Hansen, Sarah and Ken Girard, Clay Rural Water System, Inc., First Premier Bank, Lennis Larson, Roma Halvorson, Leah Gustad, the Wakonda Community Club, the Wakonda Community Health Foundation, Set Free Church of Beresford, the Pasque Garden Club, Kevin Jordanger, Keith and Theresa Guenther, and Donna Henriksen in memory of Doug Sharples.

Sharples-Schmidt would also like to thank Matt Kiger for leading the project, Farmers Lumber of Viborg for their donations and deals, Mike Pollman and Pollman Excavation for gravel, the Wakonda Heritage Manor for allowing the Eagle project, his brother Andrew and sister Rebekah for serving as his substitutes when he could not be there to help at the project, his Eagle Project mentor Reid Jensen for advice and guidance, and members of Troop 711 for their support and assistance.

Sharples-Schmidt, the oldest son of Glen Schmidt and Riva Sharples of Wakonda, is homeschooled and a junior in high school.

He has been involved in scouting since he was in first grade.

He was a member of the Irene-Wakonda Cub Scouts from 1st through 5th grades, a member of Troop 66 in Vermillion from 6th through 9th grade.

He has been a member of Troop 711 in Harrisburg since 2020. With the completion of this Eagle project, he will face a Board of Review.

Upon passing the review, he will earn the highest rank in scouting -- Eagle.

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