Project is mutual benefit for Eagle Scout, Captain Joseph House in Port Angeles
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Arwyn Rice/Peninsula Daily News
Joseph William Hutcheson, 18, of Port Angeles is formally presented with his Eagle Scout badge by Dean Butterworth at an Eagle Court of Honor at the Captain Joseph House.

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Joseph William Hutcheson and Capt. Joseph William Schultz, who died in 2011 in Afghanistan, had more than just names in common.

As of Sunday, both men were Eagle Scouts, thanks in part to Schultz's mother, Betsy Schultz, founder of the Captain Joseph House Foundation.

Hutcheson, 18, a Port Angeles High School senior, built a sturdy picnic table for Captain Joseph House — a future respite for families of slain military personnel — for his Eagle Scout project.

On Sunday, he formally received his Eagle Scout badge and scarf at an Eagle Court of Honor in front of more than 50 other Scouts, family members, friends and mentors — at Captain Joseph House, 1108 S. Oak St.

Scouting has been instrumental in inspiring people to do things they might not otherwise try, Hutcheson said.

“It's amazing to see what people can accomplish,” he said.

Dean Butterworth, mentor and a National Park Service ranger, presented Hutcheson with the Eagle Scout badge, while the teen's grandfather, Dave Schroeder, presented the scarf.

Hutcheson said he learned of Captain Joseph House and the man who shared his first and middle names when he sang “The Ballad of the Green Berets” with the Port Angeles High School Men's Choir at a fundraising event in 2013.

Captain Joseph House is undergoing renovations for conversion from the former Tudor Inn bed and breakfast to a sanctuary for Gold Star families — those that have lost a family member serving in the military during a time of war.

Hutcheson realized he only had five months to meet the deadline for earning his Eagle Scout status when he approached Schultz to propose a project that would benefit the renovation project.

Schultz, who said she remembered clearly her son's pride in earning the Eagle Scout award, suggested a picnic table for the yard, and Hutcheson took over.

Under the direction of local woodworkers Dale Giesellchen and Tom Doherty, the table took shape and was completed in December.

“It's unique and different, and no one has anything like it,” said Giesellchen.

Hutcheson's table was in storage in the house's garage, waiting to be placed in the yard for visiting families.

The house, which has been undergoing “deconstruction” since June 24, is now ready for reconstruction, said Rod Lee, construction coordinator for the Captain Joseph House Foundation.

All of the work has been done by volunteers, Lee said.

“There has been someone here every day. Some days, there are two volunteers, sometimes a dozen,” he said.

Lee said that volunteers still are needed to rebuild the house.

To volunteer for the project, phone the foundation at 360-460-7848


Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at

Last modified: March 03. 2014 7:31PM
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