Justin Cathey, 16, was presented the Eagle Scout rank in a Court of Honor held by Boy Scout Troop 1776 in late April.
The Eagle rank is the highest rank awarded by the Boy Scouts of America.
Justin, the son of Steve and Leasa Cathey of Fallon, received the award after earning 36 merit badges and completing his service project of over 380 hours. His project was the design and construction of a mobility-impaired duck hunting blind at Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge. His project idea originated after being introduced to duck hunting at the age of 12, as a participant in the Wetlands and Wings mentored youth duck hunt program offered by Friends of Stillwater and the U.S. fish and Wildlife Service.
Justin researched and designed the blind, met with refuge staff for revisions and input, and assembled a team of scouts to build the blind. Tasks included cutting, threading and assembling removable metal-framed panels then covering them with natural wetland cattails. The blind includes a fold down dog ramp.
“It’s an awesome feeling that I created and completed a service project to help mobility impaired outdoorsman to continue with their passion of waterfowl hunting,” he said.
Justin contacted several Fallon businesses for materials such as pipe, nuts and bolts, bailing wire and other items needed for the project. Contributors included Big R, Kent’s Supply Co., Louie’s Ace Home Center, Frontier Liquor and Sporting Goods, the local Ducks Unlimited group and REMAX. Justin received cash donations from Nevada Waterfowl Association and his grandfather, Jack Carver, to buy additional materials.
“I could not have completed my project without the help of our community and of course, my awesome troop,” he said. T
he duck blind floats, so it can handle the expected changes in water level in the wildlife refuge. Justin said the blind is open for use by visitors outside of waterfowl season, but to check with the refuge during the hunt season to reserve the blind which is located on South Nutgrass Lake. Boy Scout Troop 1776 is sponsored by Epworth United Methodist Church of Fallon.