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Boy Scout puts hands to work for homeless shelter

Wegener’s project benefits Mission of Hope House

By Scott Bellile

A 14-year-old Boy Scout hopes his project for New London’s homeless shelter helps guests feel like they have a home.

Cameron Wegener of New London’s Boy Scout Troop 59 recently built a chest, wall hanger and shelving unit for the Mission of Hope House as part of his Eagle Scout Service Project.

The chest will store blankets that clients will be free to curl up with on the couches in the community room.

The wall hanger and corner shelf built will be used for storage.
Scott Bellile photo

The wall hanger will serve as a coat rack in the shelter’s classroom.

The shelf will hold towels in one of the bedrooms.

“I’m hoping that it’ll be useful to the people that come here and will have a home to come to, and [clients] will have [hooks] to hang their stuff on and have a blanket to cover up with,” Cameron Wegener said of his project.

The New London High School freshman said he chose to help the MOHH for his Eagle Scout Service Project after seeing all the construction going on to get the shelter opened.

MOHH co-founder Lori Prahl said “you never say no” to a Boy Scout’s offer, so she handed him a two-page list of the shelter’s needs. Wegener then picked three projects that he believed to be useful and doable.

This was Cameron Wegener’s first major woodworking project, so he constructed the units with the mentorship of a carpenter. His fellow scouts helped him assemble, stain and varnish the units.

“I’m very proud of Cameron,” his mother Robin Wegener said. “He’s grown a lot in the last year and taken ownership of becoming” an Eagle Scout.

Cameron Wegener expects to officially become an Eagle Scout this spring after he submits his project to the Eagle Board of Review.

Prahl said she hopes his project inspires others to volunteer their talents for the MOHH.

“It’s inspirational, it’s sentimental, it’s practical,” she said of his project, “and I’m hoping it screams a message to our community: ‘Come on, everybody can do something. What can you do?’”

Community members can learn of volunteer opportunities here.

This is the second Eagle Scout Service Project to benefit MOHH. In 2017, Adam Reimer of Hortonville built a raised garden bed in the backyard for clients to grow vegetables.

The shelter expects to begin housing clients Feb. 1, with homeless families given priority.

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