Lehighton Scout earns Eagle status with towpath mile project
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS Justin Wingert, center, attained the rank of Eagle Scout. His project was to design, build and install mile markers along the Lehigh Canal. Wingert, parents are, left Judy Wingert, and right, Scot Winger, who is holding a replica of the mule sign Justin designed and painted. His mother is holding his project book and Justin is holding his plaque.
Walkers, joggers and bikers, know just how many miles they've traveled on a scneic portion of the Lehigh Canal Park towpath thanks to Eagle Scout Justin Wingert, a member of Boy Scout Troop, 82, Lehighton.
Wingert, son of Scot and Judy Wingert, chose to design, build and install six markers on the Lehigh Canal from Weissport to Jim Thorpe. The markers are positioned each mile and half mile.
A commemorative sign for the Weissport pavilion was also made in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Wlliam Feldbaumer, who donated the funds for the pavilion. Other funds for the overall project were donated by Wingert's family and friends.
The pavilion at Weissport is a pleasant place to rest in the shade, eat a snack at the picnic table underneath the roof or meet up with friend at the trailhead.
When Wingert, a junior at Lehighton Area High School, decided to put the mile markers on the towpath, he didn't chose a simple design. While working on his project, he spent many hours designing, cutting out the design and painting the mile markers which included silhouettes of a mule. He selected the mule to be part of his project because the mule was the chosen animal to pull the coal barges to market during the historic early period of the canal.
Mules were the animal of choice to pull the barges because they were considered more patient, sure-footed, hardy, long-lived than horses and were considerably less obstinate, faster, and more intelligent than donkeys.
Fellow scout Tyler Helmer assisted Wingert with digging holes for the posts, which was done during a pouring rain. His father also helped in the project.
Wingert began scouting as a Tiger and joined Boy Scout Troop 82 in 2004. As a Boy Scout he earned 39 badges and is a member of Order of the Arrow, Witauchsoman Lodge, No. 44. He has held positions of Troop Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Troop Guide, Scribe, O/A Representative, Quartermaster and Assistant Patrol Leader.
As a Cub Scout, he attained the Arrow of Light in 2004. As a member of Boy Scout Troop 82, he attained the Scout Rank, Tenderfoot Rank and Second Class Scout in 2004. In 2005, he earned First Class and Star Scout. During 2006, he attained Life Scout.
During his Scouting career, he spent 106 nights camping, 118 days hiking and compiled 197 hours of service. He also completed Scoutmaster Specific Training and Scoutmaster Outdoor Training.
Wingert is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Lehighton, where he was presented the Eagle Scout Award during a Court of Honor held May 8.