Alex Van Surksum

Alex Van Surksum recites the Eagle Scout Pledge after receiving the award as Sheldon Troop 155 Scoutmaster Kendall Anderson listens during the ceremony held at Baker Township No. 5 School at the Prairie Arts Historical Park on Sunday, June 6.

SHELDON—Kendall Anderson has spent a good portion of his life either as a part of the Boy Scouts or helping the organization.

So Anderson knows the benefit of being a Boy Scout.

“It’s very beneficial. I’ve had a lot of Scouts and the stuff they’ve learned in Boy Scouts is stuff they’ve used somewhere else,” he said. “Some of it are lifesaving skills or CPR; we practice it more often than some others. At camps that we go to, there might be a lifesaving skill you might have to perform under a controlled environment. Even in my own life, I’ve used skills at work and it’s very beneficial for every kid that’s been through it.”

Anderson works two different jobs. He does maintenance for the Iowa Department of Transportation and he helps with hog chores on a farm.

He also has served as the Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts Sheldon Troop 155 for about the last decade.

The troop is down to about five Scouts, but they are still keeping busy. They have been working with Mark Poyzer to make wooden toys as part of a merit badge and some of them are working on their Eagle Scout projects.

Anderson’s son is one of those involved in the troop and he worked on a flag retirement firepit as part as his Eagle Scout project. The only thing left is to fill out the Eagle Scout paperwork.

“Another Scout did a bunch of work for the cemetery with some three and brush removal and filled in some low spots for different grave sites,” Anderson said. “For a future project, a Scout is going to redo some of the steps at Hills Park.”

The Prairie Arts Historical Park has been a popular spot for Eagle Scout projects. Senior Alex Van Surksum was the latest Sheldon troop member honored as an Eagle Scout this summer after he applied a new finish to the foundation of Baker Township No. 5 School.

Anderson said its rewarding to watch kids go from a Cub Scout to a Boy Scout to an Eagle Scout.

“It’s neat to watch those families come through,” he said.

Sheldon Troop 155 is one of the nonprofit organizations that benefits from the Sheldon United Fund.

The annual Sheldon United Fund started on Oct. 4 and ends on Dec. 31. There are 23 organizations supported by the Sheldon United Fund, which hopes to raise $30,000 this year.

The Sheldon United Fund has raised $12,453 so far this drive.

The funds Sheldon Troop 155 receives goes toward camping trips they take each year.

“I give a lot of credit to the Boy Scouts for a lot of things that my kids have done and the places the Scouts have been,” Anderson said. “We’ve been to the Black Hills for a camp and we try to go early to do some sightseeing. We’ve taken some Scouts who haven’t been out there before. It could be the only time out there, so thank you for letting me take your kid out there and enjoying it.”

He said being part of the Boy Scouts for most of his life has been a lot of fun.

“Honestly, if it wasn’t for Scouts, my kids wouldn’t have done half of the stuff they’ve done,” Anderson said. “My son and I went to Philmont in New Mexico and hiked in the mountains for 12 days. Without Scouting, we wouldn’t have done as much stuff. Scouts have been very rewarding for me. Scouting has been there for them and I can’t thank the Boy Scouts enough for what they have done for me.”