Killington Mountain School student-athlete Johannes Stromski balances academics, athletics, and high-level participation with the Boy Scouts of America. Stromski, an Eagle Scout, hails from Merrimack, NH and is a cycling athlete enrolled in the full-term member program at KMS.
Johannes has been a Boy Scout since he was in first grade. Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scout program, with only four percent of Boy Scouts granted this rank which comes after a lengthy review process.
A key component of the Eagle Scout designation is the design and completion of a service project, along with many badge requirements and community service hours. The idea for Johannes's project came to him after an accident he had in the summer of 2015. He had been mountain biking by himself in Stratham Hill Park, near his home in New Hampshire. Johannes fell and broke his collar bone, but when he called his parents to ask for help, he realized they didn't know the park, which is relatively large in size, nor could he tell them exactly where he was. After about an hour and a half of waiting, a runner came by, who carried Johannes's bike for him and helped him out to the parking lot where his parents then met him to take him to the hospital.
Shortly thereafter, it occurred to Johannes that he could use his Eagle Scout project as a way to help others avoid the situation in which he found himself while injured in the park. "I decided to design and build several designated rescue zones within the park," Johannes explained. "People get lost and injured while using the park for biking, hiking, walking and cross country skiing," he continued. "So with the help of my troop, I built several zones, marked with 6-8 foot numbered signs, so that if lost or hurt, you can wait at one of the rescue zones and have an easy way to explain to people where you are." In addition, Johannes mapped the fastest route to get to each zone and gave those directions to local hospitals, police, and firefighters.
The signs have been up in the park since June of 2016 and have already been used seven times. This project won top honors at both the District and Regional level, and will now be considered at the National level, as one of 26 projects, with the winner decided some time in March. Whether the top honors go to Johannes or not, he's made a clear difference in his town for his community. We are proud of you, Johannes!