Miamisburg teen helps addicted babies, earns Scouting’s top honor

Miamisburg resident Nathan Stelter was recently awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honor in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

Stelter, 16, has been active in Scouting since 2009, first in Cub Scouts from 2009-13 and now in Boy Scouts since 2013. He is a member of Troop 402 (Miami Valley Council/Wright Brothers District), where he has mentored younger Scouts and served in key leadership roles, including Den Chief, Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader.

Stelter is a 2016 graduate of Bishop Leibold School and has been an altar server at St. Henry Church in Dayton since fourth grade. He has also been a regular volunteer each summer with St. Henry’s Vacation Bible School. After completing his freshman and sophomore years at Miamisburg High School, he is now a junior at Miami Valley Career Technology Center (MVCTC) in Clayton.

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As the beneficiary of his Eagle project, Stelter selected a unique area non-profit organization, Brigid’s Path. The center, which opened in Kettering in 2017, provides specialized inpatient medical care for up to 24 newborn infants who were born with and suffer from drug- and alcohol-related addiction through their mothers during pregnancy.

With as many as two dozen newborns to care for, Brigid’s Path understandably goes through hundreds of diapers a day—not including wipes, other baby supplies, and cleaning products. That made Stelter’s Eagle project the perfect assist for the center and its infant clients, their families, and volunteers.

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Stelter personally requested and secured donations to purchase shelving materials from local home improvement centers, and then built nine shelving units more than 70 feet long to store the baby supplies in the center’s basement. In addition to enlisting donors for the shelving, Stelter also recruited other members of his troop as well as friends and family members to help with this project.

Only 4 percent of Boy Scouts earn the Eagle rank. In addition to demonstrating leadership and service and living by Scout values, the candidate needs to complete a lengthy review and approval process in which he is endorsed by Scouting leaders and letters of recommendation from a variety of people who know him and can attest to his skills and character.

He must earn 21 merit badges, be accepted for advancement at local and national levels within BSA, and present a detailed service project for approval. Final approval for the Scout candidate’s acceptance into the rank of Eagle comes from the BSA national office.

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To attain Eagle, Stelter earned a total of 38 merit badges, among them Family Life, First Aid, Communication, Personal Management, Wilderness Survival, Crime Prevention and more. He has participated in several national Scouting leadership programs including Bear Claw National Youth Leadership Training in Ohio in 2015, a Philmont Trek in New Mexico in 2015, and BSA Jamboree in West Virginia in 2017.

He is also a recipient of the Order of the Arrow and the several Eagle Palm awards.

Stelter comes from a dedicated Scouting family. His parents Eric and Theresa are both active in Scouting, as is his sister, Alex. Now a freshman at the University of Cincinnati, she earned the Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouts USA.

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In addition to his Scouting, school and church activities, Stelter and his family are active in community service and outreach, among them St. Henry’s Meals for the Homeless. This program, coordinated among area churches, serves more than 400 meals each month to residents and clients of St. Vincent Hotel in Dayton. Parishioners donate fresh food and vegetables and also prepare home-made meals such as casseroles which are delivered to the Dayton homeless residence.

After school, Stelter also volunteers weekly at Miamisburg’s Helping Hands Food Pantry, which provides food distribution to more than 500 area families in need of food assistance.

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