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Scout's project has international impact

the Paneriai school in Lithuania is now home to bookshelves, thanks to Eagle Scout Ian Vicknair.

Ian Vicknair has been awarded an Eagle Scout designation. Although his Court of Honor was conducted at Camp Wilderness in Hubbard County, the international Scout's project was far from the ordinary -- and from Bad Axe Lake.

Parents Bob and Kate Vicknair are retired teachers who have taught in American international schools around the world -- in Ethiopia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Lithuania for the last 18 years.

Ian was born in Bulgaria as was his brother Mathew. Both attended schools where his parents taught. The family has had a home in the Park Rapids area, Menahga and now Snellman since 1995, returning every summer. Ian now attends Frazee High School.

Since the Eagle project is a community project, Ian chose to restore a library at Paneriai School in Vilnius, Lithuania, where he spent a school year, Mom Kate Vicknair explained.

Paneriai School is a regional school just outside Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital.

Lithuania is on the Baltic Sea and looks very much like the Park Rapids area, forested and with many lakes, Kate Vicknair said. The schools in Lithuania are very poor as the government does not fund the schools well, due to a poor economy.

The library used to be in a dilapidated outbuilding that was to be destroyed. It had no chairs or tables. The bookshelves were falling apart and they had few books.

So Ian asked a local company to sell him the bookshelves at a discounted price and he and his troop put them together.

The school designated a room in the school and Ian organized the troop to clean it out, paint it, put the shelves together and then donated funds to the school for books.

Since the Vicknairs lived overseas during Ian's scouting venture, he is considered an international Scout, although he participated with Troop 58 a few summers.

His Court of Honor was at Camp Wilderness because that is where he has worked the last few summers. His board of review was through the Northern Lights Council in Fargo.