Eagle Scout teaches youth bicycle safety

William Gunther, 15, checks bicycle helmets during a Bicycle Safety Day he recently hosted in the parking lot of Andre Lucas Elementary School. The Bicycle Safety Day served as Gunther’s Eagle Scout Service Project.

A Fort Campbell teenager saw a need within his community and came up with a solution to help fix it through his Eagle Scout Service Project

To complete the service project, William Gunter, 15, enlisted the help of the Fort Campbell Provost Marshal and other community partners for a March 15 Bicycle Safety Day at Andre Lucas Elementary School for Fort Campbell children.

While considering his service project to apply to become an Eagle Scout, Gunter decided to look within his community for a need.

“I saw the kids were biking to school and weren’t riding safely,” William said. “I tried to figure what I could do to ride safely. I decided to teach them biking hand signals and other bike riding safety tips.”

William also reached out to Riverside Bike Shop and the 218th Military Police Company, 716th Military Police Battalion, to assist in instructing participants on bike safety procedures. Gunter’s fellow Scouts from Troop 525 also helped.

“We had about 25 people attend,” William said. “When they got there, they went to a station to get their helmets adjusted to fit properly. Then they went to a station to learn the hand signals. After they had their bikes tuned by Riverside Bike Shop, and they practiced using their signals and riding around a course. The MP’s also talked to them about rules for riding on post.”

The Gunter Family also purchased bicycle helmets at their own expense to give to children who did not have one and provided snacks for attendees.

William’s parents, Ashley Gunter and Lt. Col. John Gunter, former commander of 6th Battalion, 101st General Aviation Regiment, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), helped make their son’s project a reality.

“It was pretty impressive to see how he’s grown,” John said. “He’s been involved in Scouts since he was a young kid, but parents are more involved at that point. To see him take it on all on his own and take charge of it, it was really impressive. There was some help along the way, but it was all his idea and his project.”

William’s parents are proud of how much work he put into the event, coordinating with the school to use the parking lot and reaching out to other community partners.

“I think we all learned something new,” William said. “I learned how much goes into planning something like this, it takes a lot of time.”

William will later take the results of his project and present it to earn his Eagle Scout badge though has already achieved another victory. There will now be a large group of school children biking safely, all thanks to William’s efforts.

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