New Eagle Scouts don't let disability stop them from achieving their goals

Monday, November 5, 2018
Eagle Scouts don't let disability stop them from achieving goals
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Eagle Scouts don't let disability stop them from achieving goals. David Murphy reports during Action News Mornings on November 4, 2018.

WILMINGTON, Del. (WPVI) -- There was a big turnout at Wilmington's Mary Campbell Center this past October for Fred Hendershot and Dan Swezey, Delaware's newest Eagle Scouts.

Achieving the Eagle Scout rank is quite an achievement for Fred and Dan.

"I feel good about myself because only three-percent of scouts get to Eagle Scout," says Dan.

"It's a fantastic honor to achieve, and I'm glad I did it," Fred adds.

These two haven't let disability stop them.

Dan is a pro at meeting goals.

He got back in the pool after being sidelined by a spinal injury. He swims 40 to 50 laps, three days a week, and competes in the National Wheelchair Athletic Association.

We asked what advice he has for others about pursuing their goals.

"I would just point out that I was able to do it. It doesn't require Superman to do the things required, it just takes perseverance," Dan says.

"You should always keep trying to achieve your goals. Don't be afraid to ask for help and never give up even if it is hard," says Fred.

At 72-years-old, Fred is now the oldest Eagle Scout in the Delmarva Council, and it's easy to see he's proud of his new rank.

He has no problem communicating thanks to an adaptive device.

"There are a lot of things I cannot do, but scouting has always let me work on myself to accomplish these goals. I work hard to accomplish things that some people may think I may not. I have had great support from my scout leaders, members of my church and everyone at Mary Campbell Center," Fred says.

Both men have been Boy Scouts their entire lives.

They live at the Mary Campbell Center in Wilmington, where they completed their Eagle Scout projects.

"My eagle project was a donation drive for Forgotten Cats. Their mission is to humanely reduce the homeless and unwanted cat population. The drive collected 410 cans of wet cat food, 335 pounds of dry food, 169 pounds of kitty litter and many more supplies," Fred says.

Dan led a project to create science kits and a research book of experiments for the Mary Campbell Center's Saturday Science Hour.

His goal now is to help others achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.


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