By MADDY VITALE
For 11 years Ocean City High School senior Caleb Schumacher has been involved in scouting. And on Sunday, all of his hard work paid off.
Caleb, 17, of Ocean City, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout is the highest honor bestowed upon a Boy Scout.
He was honored during a ceremony at the Bayside Center pavilion with his parents Bill Schumacher, an assistant scoutmaster of Ocean City Boy Scout Troop 32, and his mom, Beth, and sisters Phoebe and Miranda by his side.
A host of dignitaries were at the event to show their support for Caleb’s accomplishments.
Congressman Jeff Van Drew, State Senator Michael Testa, Assemblyman Antwan McClellan, Freeholders E. Marie Hayes and Jeffrey Pierson, Cape May County Sheriff Bob Nolan and Ocean City Council members Keith Hartzell, Bob Barr, Tom Rotondi, Jody Levchuk and Michael DeVlieger attended the ceremony.
Caleb summed up his feelings about the monumental achievement.
“Everyone was happy to be there,” he said. “I just feel great that I am an Eagle Scout.”
But becoming an Eagle Scout was no easy task. Not only is Caleb busy with scouting, but is a top student, a member of the high school crew team and aspires to one day become a computer engineer.
He said he owes a lot to his family for their continued support.
“It took a lot of time management, but it mostly was my mom who kept pushing me to get my Eagle,” Caleb said of his years in scouting. “She kept me on track.”
Scouting teaches so much to prepare a person for a lifetime of success, he said.
“You learn leadership skills to prepare for leadership jobs and you learn time management skills to keep on track and keep it all together,” he said.
His Eagle Scout project had particularly significant meaning for him.
Caleb’s grandfather was an Army sergeant in the Korean War.
“My project was a flag drop box so that the flags could be properly disposed of. I chose it because at my grandfather’s funeral, they presented a flag to my Nona and I thought that would be nice to make sure they could be retired properly,” Caleb explained.
Caleb created the flag drop box that is under the ramp at American Legion Post 524 at 46th Street and West Avenue.
Caleb’s father Bill said how proud he was of his son.
“I am an Eagle Scout as well. Being a scout teaches values. Caleb works hard. He is an excellent student, active in crew and he has a job. He has a good work ethic and with all of this he still found time to obtain Eagle,” Schumacher noted.
Assistant Scoutmaster Mark Kampf is friends with Bill Schumacher. Kampf’s son, Dylan, made Eagle Scout in March and is close friends with Caleb.
Both Caleb and Dylan followed a similar journey to get to the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout, Kampf said.
“The Schumachers are a remarkable family that we have gotten to know better through the scouting kinship,” Kampf explained. “Caleb and Dylan have been in scouting for a number of years and Caleb’s dad and me have been a part of this together. It has been an Eagle Scout journey together. We have watched the kids grow from boys to men.”
“It has been such a great experience for me and for Bill,” Kampf added. “We know Caleb will achieve remarkable things leveraging the skills he has learned on his path to Eagle.”