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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Good Kids Doing Great Things

Yesterday was the kind of day that made the hard job of mothering all worthwhile.

My son completed the construction portion of his Eagle Scout project.

Eagle Scout Project 002

Take a good look at this entire tree line. You’ll learn why in a moment.

Eagle Scout Project 001

Did you know that only 4% of boys who are Cub Scouts go on to earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout?

It takes YEARS of hard work and dedication to even get to a place where you are eligible to begin an Eagle Scout project.

Boys must first earn a total of 21 merit badges, including these 13 merit badges:

First Aid - Citizenship in the Community - Citizenship in the Nation - Citizenship in the World – Communication Cooking - Personal Fitness - Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving - Environmental Science or Sustainability Personal Management - Swimming, Hiking or Cycling – Camping – Family Life

Our Scout at this time has earned a total of 35 badges. He has learned amazing skills in areas such as plumbing and woodworking. Many of the badges take MONTHS to complete.

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Through volunteer service and other tasks a series of ranks must also be achieved. Our Scout is currently a Life Scout. While a Life Scout you must hold a position of active leadership for 6 months within your troop. Our Scout is currently the Senior Patrol Leader of his troop. This position is the highest leadership role within the troop and the Senior Patrol Leader is selected by his Scout peers. To me, that says so much about my son.

Most importantly a Life Scout must demonstrate the Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law. They must tell how they have done their duty to God, how they have lived the Scout Oath and Scout Law in their everyday life, and how their understanding of the Scout Oath and Scout Law will guide their life in the future.

Once these requirements are met only then can a Scout fill out the Eagle Scout rank application.

The Scout must then seek out a project that will benefit the local community.

In this day and age it is rather difficult to find projects. Because of the fear of lawsuits many companies now steer away from youth projects. It took our Scout over 8 months of pavement pounding to find his project.

His project is through our local Parks and Recreation Department.

The project benefits the community on three levels: wildlife protection, native plant sustainability and safety for the local community.

Eagle Scout Project 019

The pretty tree line above has a community walking trail along side it that surrounds a local lake. Recently a few families of beavers set up residence.

The city really didn’t want trees being felled onto the walk path or upon the heads of potential users of the path. Nor did it want the trees damaged. In addition, it also became unsafe for the beavers being so close to the walk path and encountering people. Humans can be so unkind to animals!

A solution was found that by simply surrounding each tree trunk with a steel wire cage this will deter the beavers who will then move further upstream to an unpopulated area and the remaining trees and path walkers shall be safe.

All in all, a trifecta of project greatness! 

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While it is officially called The Anti-Beaver Wire Installation Project this mom and some of our crazy family members (Auntie T) refer to it as:

The Angry Beaver Project

The Justin Beaver Project

(There are so many fun songs you can sing just by changing a few lyrics. :)

The Scout is in charge of the entire project and responsible for every last minute detail. This is to teach leadership responsibilities and team building skills.

For this project to take place the Scout must seek the approval of the local troop and the area council.

Funds must be raised by the Scout to pay for all of the supplies.

The Scout must also seek out an adult advisor, who is not a family member, who gently mentors and steers the Scout in the direction they should go to achieve their project goals. 

Mr. Payne, our Scout’s amazing volunteer mentor/advisor.

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Now back to the trees.

You may have noticed that the tree line was quite extensive. Which meant a whole lotta trees needed wire cages.

Volunteers were needed to lay out and cut the wire at a certain length for a standard circumference which was predetermined.

Eagle Scout Project 009-001

Then other volunteers needed to transport the cut wire to the needed areas.

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Of course the tall native grasses (and other nasty things) made access to the tree trunks a bit difficult. #poisonivy #poisonoak

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A team of weed wackers to the rescue!

Mr. Baldwin, boy wrangler, weed wacker and leader extraordinaire. 

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An entire posse of boys were corralled to install all of the wire cages.

#yellowshirtbrigade

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Overseeing the entire process to insure it was completed correctly was our Scout.

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He had tremendous concern for his workers safety and made sure they stayed hydrated during the long hot day.

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He had to also plan out the feeding of his crew.  This required financing a breakfast and lunch menu for 23 hardworking and hungry people.

Donuts, cheese sticks, bananas, apples and juice.

Pizza, carrots, celery, cookies and water/soda.

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As a good Scout our leader even devised a simple system for both general trash and recycling. #loveyourmother

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I just have to stop and talk about these boys for a minute. A LOT of attention is given by the media of everything that is wrong with our world and how horrible kids today are.

I’d like to paint a different picture.

These boys gave up an entire Saturday, performed hard labor on a volunteer basis, just to help their friend and fellow Scout achieve his goal of becoming an Eagle.

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They took a moment to give thanks when the project was finished.

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These are your future leaders. Strong, capable, and caring young men filled with a sense of purpose and amazing potential.

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Our Scout will now embark on the final stage of his Eagle project. It involves extensive preparation of a portfolio to include photos, all costs (with receipts), complete explanation of the process and outcome of how it benefits the community. It will be reviewed at the local level and then if approved sent on to the National Eagle Scout Review Board. It may take several more months for the process to be completed before we learn if he has achieved the rank of Eagle.

 Eagle Scout Project 098

But we believe he can fly.

Laura

For those who don’t follow along on Instagram

Humid hair, don’t care!!!

scout1

It takes a village.

scouts

10 comments :

Patti said...

Exceptional young man. You have every right to brag about him.
He and his friends are our future and it looks like it's in good hands.

Jeanie said...

Just a guess, but I have a feeling they'll look at his portfolio and say "No brainer -- this kid aced Eagle before he even put the book together!"

What a terrific and useful project. I am so thrilled to see that some boys are still doing Scouts. It's a tremendous training ground. I think Rick believes most of what he learned to get on in life was fostered by scouting and is a huge advocate (and Eagle!). I'm impressed with the thoughtfulness behind the project and the fact that he can muster the troops like that says a great deal about both the boys who helped and especially your son. Bravo!

GSGreatEscaper said...

Good luck to Sweet Guy as he goes through the review process, and Happy Mother's Day to you!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh wow, I know how proud you are of him and all he has achieved and rightly so. He really is such an amazing young man and has surrounded himself with others that are equally as amazing. A Great project for the whole community too.

Mildred said...

Wow! You should be very proud. I wish you a most blessed Mother's Day with love.

Bonnie said...

I know you are so proud! Values instilled reap lifelong benefits. You have raised a strong and responsible young man. Congratulations to all on a job well done.

Barbara H. said...

What a wonderful solution for both the community and the beavers! Great idea, and good job! I hope he gets his Eagle rank. He certainly deserves it.

Lorrie said...

Congratulations! Yes, let's tell the world that there are great young people in this world.

Marilyn said...

Kudos to everyone involved! They all did a wonderful job which will benefit both man and wildlife.

I'm very familiar with this because years ago the Corps of Army Engineers did this same project right beyond our property line. We have Corps property and a pond directly behind us, separated from our lawn by fencing.

We started noticing beaver damage on the trees just adjacent to our fence, plus evidence they had started to build a dam. A beaver, or nutria, can chew through 1/2 a tree overnight, particularly if they are Cottonwoods or Willows (which are soft woods).

The corps. girdled all the trees with chain link fencing to prevent the trees from falling on our property and (thankfully) it worked!!

Those boys completed a very worth while project that actually may have saved someone's life by preventing a tree from falling on walker.

From personal experience, it doesn't take much for a beaver to weaken a tree(s).

Marilyn (in Dallas)

Auntie Em said...

That was an amazing project that will definitely be a benefit to the community for years to come. It is always good to see young people out doing something that isn't just for their own amusement or gain. And there are usually parents or some other adult who cared for them standing back and letting them learn how to care and learn how to lead because they have those qualities too.
I am sure he will have no problem getting the accreditation he deserves. And congratulations on all the awesome badges and and awards he has earned already. Very impressive!