Scouting Service: Fishers’ Baehl completes Eagle Scout project for Indiana Transportation Museum


By Sam Elliott

The Baehl family utilizing the Fishers Fair Train to get to the Indiana State Fairgrounds led to Nicholas Baehl revitalizing the entranceway into the Indiana Transportation Museum.

Baehl, a junior-to-be at Hamilton Southeastern High School and active Boy Scout in Fishers Troop 109, just so happened to be looking for a beneficiary for an Eagle Scout service project.

“I talked to (ITM Board Member and volunteer) Michelle Yerkeson, who said she had projects available and I thought, ‘Wow, this would be a great project,’” Baehl said. “We went through the project ideas she had, and I thought the front entrance project is going to be huge. This front entrance is going to make the museum look great and make it so visitors say, ‘Wow, that took a lot of time and it looks great.’ I thought it would be a good way to get more visitors in.”

Baehl’s project involved replacing the museum’s old wooden signage with a sign secured to stone columns, plus adding attractive mulch, gravel and landscaping improvements.

“His project was fantastic,” Troop 109 Scoutmaster Al Kane said. “It’s a great addition to the community. It’s very easy on the eyes and just something that many are going to benefit from. It’ll make for a great experience there.”

With Forest Park getting more visitors as the weather warms. Baehl’s work to the entranceway of the museum has begun garnering more attention by passersby.

“Nick’s project has had a really great impact for us,” said Yerkeson, who has been involved with the ITM for 14 years. “We’re inside a Noblesville city park, so our identity sometimes gets lumped together with the park. Having a new sign and everything is really great for us … It’s so professional and nice. The stonework is so nice and of course the landscaping has come up and it looks great.”

The Indiana Transportation Museum is no stranger to receiving assistance from area Boy Scouts, as Baehl’s contribution was the fifth Eagle Scout project to benefit the museum.

“I can’t say enough about Nick. He really led his project really well, which is part of becoming an Eagle Scout,” Yerkeson said. “I love (working with Scouts.) It’s always a great thing.”

Baehl coordinated with approximately 40 volunteers for the project, totaling nearly 530 hours’ worth of work.

“You have to manage time, you have to manage supplies and you have to manage people and you have to put it all together for a project like this,” he said.

“I think people will love it,” he added of the finished product. “The beneficiary definitely loves it and says it’s a huge upgrade from the previous sign, which was a wooden sign that was rotting away. This new sign and new landscaping definitely welcomes people.”

Super Scout

Although Nicholas Baehl has achieved the Boy Scouts’ highest rank, his Eagle Scout status can be amended with the addition of Eagle Scout Palms going forward.

“After achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, there are these things called Eagle Scout Palms,” Baehl said. “With these Eagle Scout Palms, you have to gain five additional merit badges and hold a position in the troop, plus some more service hours. When those are complete, you receive one Eagle Scout Palm. I can receive six Eagle Palms before I turn 18.”

Before going for the Eagle Palms, it took 21 merit badges, community service hours, his service project and a leadership position in the troop for Baehl to reach the rank of Eagle Scout.

“It’s not an easy task,” Troop 109 Scoutmaster Al Kane said. “For any scout to become an Eagle Scout, it takes commitment and time. I think that’s why it’s a very rare event when somebody reaches the rank of Eagle, because they’ve put in the time and commitment to set goals and reach those goals for many years.”

Baehl has been involved with Troop 109 since he was in first grade. He served as troop guide in 2015 and is currently Troop 109’s assistant patrol leader.

“The troop guide is a role that’s dedicated to helping the first-year scouts transition into the program and work on their rank advancement,” Kane said. “Nick had the opportunity to share all that he’s learned as a scout with our younger scouts. It was a great opportunity for him and Nick did a great job in that role … (As assistant patrol leader) he’s one of the boys leading the troop. He’s got aspirations to be senior patrol leader, which is the youth leader of our troop and he’s well on his way to being there.”

In a troop of more than 90 scouts like Troop 109, being elected to one of the youth leadership positions is a highly regarded honor.

“He’s a natural leader,” Kane said. “He’s well respected amongst his peers, his opinions are valued amongst the other youth and he really has a servant leadership kind of attitude, which is fantastic for his role … He’s already giving back to the troop and community in many, many ways. He’s utilizing all the skill sets and leadership abilities he’s gathered throughout the years.”

Fishers Boy Scout Troop 109

  • Oldest troop in Fishers
  • Formed in 1944
  • Chartered by Fishers United Methodist Church since 1960
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Indiana Transportation Museum

825 Park Dr., Noblesville