Troop 868 in Action

EAGLE SERVICE PROJECT

(Saturday, July 28, 2012)
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In addition to earning a bunch of merit badges, a boy who wishes to become an Eagle Scout must demonstrate his leadership skills as well as his scouting skills.  One of the ways he does this is to hold progressively more demanding positions of leadership within the troop as he progresses through the ranks.  Likewise, he learns what it means to be a good citizen and the joys of serving his community through his participation in a number of different community service opportunities during his career as a scout.  All of the various leadership and communication skills he has learned as a scout are demonstrated when he plans and successfully completes a significant community service project of his choosing.  The boy must propose a project that benefits the community at large, obtain all the needed permissions from the appropriate authorities, acquire all the needed materials, recruit all the needed manpower, and then direct the ultimate completion of the project.  Parents, scoutmasters, and other adults may offer advice and assist, but the Eagle candidate must lead and direct the project every step of the way.

When searching for a worthy project, Troop 868 Life Scout Dylan talked with Bullitt Lick Middle School Principal Robert Fulk about making some improvements at the school.  Principal Fulk suggested improving the path leading to and surrounding the school's flagpole, construction of an outdoor classroom area, and construction of a distinctive sign near the school's main entrance.  Dylan accepted the challenge and began planning the project.  It took several months to work up a formal plan and to obtain all the required approvals, including approval by the Bullitt County Board of Education.  He then lined up a work crew of fellow scouts and a few troop fathers to make it happen.

A large number of Troop 868 scouts turned out to help their follow scout with his project.  The weather was very cooperative and a short but heavy rain the night before loosed the ground and made digging much easier.  Dylan had come to the job site the night before to make sure everything was lined out and ready to go so that his workers wouldn't be standing around idle the next morning.  His advance planning really paid off.  Not only was he able to put his crew right to work the next morning, but he was able to keep them busy and productive throughout the day with enough manpower to get the job done but no one being worked to the point of exhaustion.  All the scouts who participated will be able to take pride in the project.

 

Troop 868 scouts Thomas, Adrian, Dylan, and Caden hand picked grass and rocks from around the flag pole. Nicholas soon joined in to help.  The boys took care not to damage the surrounding plants that were to remain.
Nicholas, Adam, and Thomas then went to work with shovels to dig out a deeper area for new step stones. The walkway also had to be widened and made straight.  Troop 868 Eagle Scout Stephen Guelda showed up to help dig.
A bobcat made quick work of doing most of the digging to create a gravel pad for the outdoor classroom area. Scoutmaster Meek borrowed a ditch-witch machine to dig a trench around the perimeter in which to install a retaining wall of treated lumber.
A truck load of gravel was dumped into the center to be spread after the retaining walls were set in place. Mr. Curd used a tiller to break up the dirt before scouts shoveled it into buckets and used it to fill in low spots around the campus.
A good leader always makes sure his workers are well fed and the meal Dylan served seemed to be a hit. After lunch, Mr. Curd and Mr. Canchola cut the treated lumber to length before scouts set the boards into place then backfilled the trench.
Once the walls were in place, it was time to spread the gravel. It was a hot day so workers rotated and made sure to keep hydrated.  Dylan had plenty of cold water and soft drinks for his work crew.
As work continued on the sidewalk and classroom parts of the project, Dylan used paint to mark the location for the new sign. Dylan and Mr. Weaver checked the measurement as they lined the perimeter with bricks.
Scouts Noah and Nicholas showed that they had learned the proper way to lay and level step stones as that part of the project neared completion. The pad for the outdoor classroom was the first part of the project to be completed.
Once all the stones were laid, Dylan swept a layer of sand over the stones.  The sand will sink into the cracks with the next rainfall. The finished sign with poured concrete letters (tinted blue) surrounded by white gravel and red brick.