by Susan Mikula Campbell
Wheatfield resident Daniel Jaenecke has become an Eagle Scout thanks to helping his mom.
Daniel, 15, the son of Alan and Cheryl Jaenecke, is a 10th-grader at Starpoint High School. His Eagle Scout project as a member of Troop 58 out of St. Christopher Parish was to replace the floor in St. Christopher School's "new" music room. Cheryl Jaenecke, is the school's music teacher as well as Daniel's mother.
When the music program outgrew its former room, the school converted two meeting rooms in the basement for the program's use. Carpeting in the rooms became wet a few years ago when a pip burst, plus the rooms often had a musty smell from moisture and humidity.
"Daniel met with the school principal (Jenny Bainbridge) to propose replacing the carpet with a commercial vinyl tile and presented a material cost for the project. The project had already been identified as a necessary capital improvement in 2014 or later, so after reviewing the finances and realizing this cost of this project would be significantly reduced as an Eagle project it was approved," his father said.
In August, Daniel coordinated with friends and family to remove the carpeting, sanded off the carpet adhesive for a smooth surface, then with the guidance of his dad's friend Phil Bova and custodian Dennis Candelaria learned to measure the room, mark reference lines, apply adhesive and install more than 800 square feet of vinyl tile.
"I wanted to do an Eagle Scout project that had meaning," Daniel said, and what was better than helping his mom plus the school he attended from kindergarten to eighth grade by creating a brighter, non-smelly music room.
Although he had no previous experience in installing tile, he said, "I think I did it pretty good. The room looks great and my mom loves it."
According to his dad, Daniel had first considered creating wetlands trails and an observation deck for Don Jaenecke (Daniel's grandfather) Memorial Park at the Cherry Hill Nature Preserve off Mavis Drive. However, a developer has purchased property there that would block public access to the trails and maintenance would be difficult.
In addition to planning and completing a special service project to become an Eagle Scout, Daniel had to earn a minimum of 21 merit badges. He earned 46 merit badges.
In his spare time, Daniel enjoys playing soccer for the NWAA Galaxy (U16 boys travel team) and for Starpoint. He also is on the Starpoint track team, plays baritone in the school's wind ensemble; and is playing piano for this year's school musical.
His plans include joining the U.S. Air Force, earning a college degree in engineering and maybe, someday in the future, using his tile installing skills in his own home.