Senior Nik Heiligenberg recently earned his Eagle Scout rank, the highest rank in Boy Scouts. A member of Troop 4010 out of St. Anthony, he earned the rank in part by completing a project that included building a storage shed for the Haven House homeless shelter in Jeffersonville.
Nik said he came up with the idea for the project after a relative suggested it. With the help of his parents, he set up a GoFundMe account to raise the $1,000 in donations to purchase the kit and supplies. Family, friends and the Callistus Smith Insurance Agency contributed.
He then organized a group of volunteers that included about 30 fellow Scouts, friends and family who worked over six weekends to construct the base and build the shed. A few of the shelter’s residents also helped, including someone with roofing experience who provided invaluable expertise.
The extra space was so sorely needed that the shelter’s staff had started to store items even before the shed was painted, Nik said. Those items had to be removed to finish the project, but it has since been filled, as he saw when he returned to help a fellow Scout with his project of building a playground for the shelter. Seeing it put to such quick use affirmed the need for the project.
“It felt pretty good making everyone happy,” Nik said.
Nik has been a Scout since first grade, starting as a Cub Scout before advancing to Boy Scouts in fifth grade. He said he especially appreciates the leadership training he receives as a Scout and the chance to do outdoor activities. More importantly, he likes the camaraderie and witnessing each other’s personal growth.
“I grew up with them (fellow Scouts), and to see everyone grow up and the service that we do, it’s good to see that,” he said.
Nik plans to attend college at Indiana University-Bloomington, where he has received a direct admit to its Kelley School of Business.
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