Handel achieves Eagle rank

Erik Handel
Erik Handel

Erik Handel, a member of Boy Scout Troop 2810, chartered at Salem Lutheran Church in Sycamore, was recently awarded Eagle, the highest rank achievable in scouting. He is the son of Terry and Connie Handel of Sycamore.

Handel began his scouting journey in 2008 in first grade with Cub Scout Pack 102, chartered by Southeast Elementary School in Sycamore. He earned all five Cub Scout ranks and the Arrow of Light which is the highest award given in Cub Scouts along with all 20 Webelos activity pins. He crossed over to Troop 2810 in 2013, joining his older brothers and scoutmaster father. He enjoyed attending many campouts and activities, and Canyon Camp Summer Camp.

He continued his trail to Eagle with Troop 2810 serving as an assistant senior patrol leader, patrol leader, historian, quarter master and Leave No Trace trainer. He also attended National Youth Leadership Training as both a participant and staff member, and experienced High Adventure trips such as the Philmont Scout Ranch in 2016 and the National Jamboree in 2017. He’ll attend Boundary Waters this summer.

Handel also is attending the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience program at Philmont Scout Ranch this summer and is serving a second year on staff at National Youth Leadership Training as quartermaster.

Handel was inducted into the Order of the Arrow in 2015 and has earned 35 merit badges.

For his Eagle project, Handel built 12 four-chamber nursery bat houses that were placed in various DeKalb County Forest Preserves. The houses were deemed very important because the population of bats has been on the decline because of the spreading of white nose syndrome. While the specific bats in the Midwest are not specified as endangered, their numbers have gone down. These houses give bats a safe place to live year-round in addition to making sure they are not disturbed during hibernation.

Handel is a junior at Sycamore High School and a member of the track and cross country teams. He is considering going to school to get a degree in engineering at Iowa State.

For information about Troop 2810, call Scoutmaster Terry Handel at 815-895-6953 or send email to

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