Two young men from Dawson Church Troop 83 were named Eagle Scouts, the highest rank awarded in the Boy Scouts, in January. Corbin Mehrer and Riley Howerton both earned the rank.
Corbin began his scouting career as a kindergartener and earned the Arrow of Light as a Cub Scout.
Since joining Troop 83, Corbin has earned 31 merit badges and held numerous leadership positions, including chaplain, librarian and historian. He is a member of the Order of the Arrow and has earned the Triple Crown by participating in three high-adventure trips.
For Corbin’s Eagle project, he installed six bat houses at Camp McDowell. He raised the funds for the project and built the bat houses using a construction plan from the International Bat Association. He, along with family and fellow scouts, cut the bat houses from plywood.
Corbin then hosted an assembly day during which nearly a dozen scouts from multiple troops assembled the houses. During National Bat Week, Corbin and a small group of volunteers installed the houses around Camp McDowell.
Camp McDowell is home to several species of bat, including some that are protected. These houses will help maintain the population and could increase the number of bats present at the camp.
Corbin is a senior at Vestavia Hills High School. He is a member of the VEX World Championship qualifying robotics team and plans to attend the University of Alabama in Huntsville in the fall.
His parents are Erin and Todd Hollifield and Michael Mehrer. Corbin and his family attend All Saints Episcopal Church.
Riley achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at Dawson Church Troop 83 in January. He is the fourth generation of his family to receive this honor.
Riley’s leadership roles in the troop included senior patrol leader, patrol leader, assistant patrol leader, historian and scribe. He has earned 25 merit badges along with the God and Life medal. He also earned his Arrow of Light rank as a Cub Scout with Pack 1 at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church.
One of his many favorite memories is being named Top Shot at summer camp at Camp Comer.
For his Eagle Scout project, Riley designed and built a four-element low ropes course at Camp Dawson with the help of fellow scouts and adult leaders. The four challenges are a spider web, boson chairs, traverse line and a 7-foot team wall.
Some existing trees were used to help the course blend into the environment. Careful planning and drilling were done to protect the health of the trees.
Yards of rope and wire cable were strung and clamped for three of the elements. Concrete was poured around timbers for the wall and spider web. This course can be used for kids’ camps and team building and to help participants build confidence before taking on the camp’s high ropes course.
Riley is in his senior year as a homeschooler and member of Essential Church School. He is an active member of Dawson’s Chapel Choir and holds the officer position of tenor section leader.
Riley’s parents are Bill and Cindy Howerton. He and his family are active members at Dawson.