OSAGE | On Saturday, Oct. 13, Josiah Meier, son of Thomas and Lori Meier, of Osage, was awarded the Freedom Award at a ceremony held at the Cedar Springs Camp and Retreat Center.

Trail Life USA is a young man’s organization, which emphasizes Christian values, leadership development, character and outdoor activities; it was founded in 2013.

The ceremony for the Freedom Award, Trail Life's highest honor, focuses on the character and faith of the recipient. During the ceremony, Meier was presented with a framed certificate and a brass cap that tops a Rangeman’s staff, which held the other badges he had earned.

Meier, who joined the Trail Life organization’s chapter in Mason City in 2014, became the first Iowan to receive the award.

His dad is the troop master, and his mom is the troop’s committee chair.

Meier was required to achieve 25 badges, accomplish a major and two minor projects, and complete a "Servant Leadership Project."

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Among the badges he earned were for Air Soft and survival skills.

His main project, which "took over a hundred hours to complete," involved replacing a flight of stairs at Cedar Springs Camp.

“Previously, the outdoor stairs had been made of old tires that were worn and wires were sticking out and cutting people’s feet. I did most of the work of removing the tires and designed the new steps.”

Mark Jenkins, executive director of Cedar Springs Camp, said, “The steps he replaced had created a safety issue. Upgrading them made it cleaner and hazardous free.”

Meier is currently finishing his home schooling, taking a correspondent course from Virginia based-Liberty University. He has applied to become a page in the 2019 Iowa Legislature.

After graduation, Meier plans to enter the Iowa Air National Guard, while continuing correspondence courses from Liberty, where he later hopes to complete his education.

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