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Gilford teen achieves Eagle Scout rank

New Eagle Scout Austin Schinlever of Gilford at his Eagle Scout Ceremony with his parents, Scott and Donna Schinlever. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
August 19, 2014
LACONIA ⎯ After years of service and a year of complicated work, a young Gilford man has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. On Aug. 11, Austin Schinlever was presented his Eagle badge at a Court of Honor for Troop 68 in Laconia.

Schinlever lives in Gilford, and is a 2013 graduate of Bishop Brady High School in Concord. This fall, he will enter his sophomore year at the University of Virginia.

He started his scouting journey as a member of Troop 238 in Gilford. After he started high school he joined a few friends who were part of Troop 68 in Laconia.

For his project Schinlever worked with Tammy Levesque of the Laconia School District to put on a health and wellness fair at Laconia High School. Members of the Laconia Fire and Police Departments talked about safety, drugs, and other topics. He also got help from Capt. Bob Landry of the Laconia Fire Department.

Schinlever said the idea for the safety piece of the fair came after a conversation with his brother, an emergency physician. He said his brother was talking about the importance of educating kids on safety, coming up with the idea of the safety fair.

Schinlever completed his Eagle requirements right as he was about to go to college.

"It was so hectic trying to get the board of review set up," Schinlever said.

The Board of Review approved his Eagle rank just as he was on his way to college. Almost a year to the day he went before the Eagle board he went through his Eagle Scout ceremony.

Schinlever was honored in front of his troop members as well as family and friends.

Schinlever is Troop 68's third Eagle Scout.

Troop 68 Committee Chair Tara Shore recalled first meeting Schinlever when he received swimming lessons from her and "he just stuck with me."

"I remember thinking this child is way beyond what I can teach him," Shore said. "At that moment in time, I knew exactly the type of child that boy was."

Then he and his parents walked into the Scout Hut.

"At the very moment that we were having some ups and downs a wonderful scout walked through the door," Shore said.

Shore shared some memories from Schinlever's time in her troop.

"He's been a wonderful addition to the troop," Shore said. "Tonight has indeed been a special night."

Schinlever thanked all those who have helped him along this journey.

"I wouldn't be here today without the help and support of all of you," Schinlever said.

He also thanked Shore for all her support during his time in the troop.

"I'm proud to call her my mentor because God knows I wouldn't be here without her," Schinlever said.

Schinlever spoke about the importance of this achievement to him. He spoke of how all the Boy Scout attributes are used to describe an Eagle Scout and how this honor has given him more of a sense of duty.

"The badge will be a part of me," he said.

Schinlever's mother Donna Schinlever presented him with his pin and his father Scott Schinlever presented him with his certificate.

"It's exciting, kind of like the end of a journey," said Donna Schinlever.

Scott Schinlever said he was "very proud" of his son's accomplishment.

"It's a lot of work getting here," Scott Schinlever said. "He did a great job with his service project."

This fall Schinlever will go into his sophomore year at UVA, majoring in biochemistry. He hopes to go into medical school and previously did an internship in the Medical Examiner's office.

Schinlever said he is relieved to get to this milestone and that the process went well.

"I'm just happy I can relax and celebrate," Schinlever said.

After getting his Eagle Badge Schinlever said he will look for more opportunities in scouting, including looking into opportunities in Virginia.

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