by Bill Mees, Nature Areas Committee
The highest rank obtainable in Scouts BSA (formerly Boy Scouts of America) is the rank of Eagle Scout. There are many requirements necessary to receive the final rank including multiple merit badges, active leadership and participation in the scout’s troop and completing an Eagle project. The project is selected by the scout and must provide a benefit to some entity outside of scouting. All requirements for the rank of Eagle Scout must be achieved by the scout’s 18th birthday.
An Eagle project is how I came to meet Stefan Appold, an aspiring Eagle Scout who was in search of a suitable project. It was August 6, 2021. Following an exchange of emails and discussions, Stefan decided building three small kiosks for installation at Wild Haven Nature Area was perfect to meet the requirements for an Eagle Scout project.
Selecting a project is just the beginning. The project concept must be approved the scout’s troop and Council leadership. Once the concept is approved it must be described step by step in its entirety from start to finish. This too must be approved by troop and Council. Months can pass completing this phase of the project. The project proposal and write up is a minor thesis. Only after all the approvals are received can the project’s work sessions begin.
Stefan’s first work session as a manager-supervisor was on Saturday March 19, 2022. Multiple scouts and parents gathered at Stefan’s garage, now designated as a work shop, to assemble the kiosks. Parents were present to intervene for safety issues. Other than that, the scouts were on their own with Stefan providing leadership. By the end of the work session, three kiosks were ready to be bolted to 4×4 posts.
It was 8:30 a.m. on April 2. Scouts, parents and scout leaders were gathered at Wild Haven Nature Area. Columbia Audubon Society had identified the location for each kiosk and contacted “Dig Right” to identify and avoid any hidden utilities. Stefan again supervised the scouts while the parents and scout leaders chatted.
It turns out that digging post holes three feet deep and then setting the post and refilling the hole while at the same time ensuring the post is plumb is easier said than done. But done it was. Then it was time to bolt the kiosk to the post, again making sure the kiosk was just as plumb as the post.
All the work was followed by lunch and a round of well-deserved congratulations for jobs well done.
Unfortunately for Stefan, there is more for him to do. There is the post-project debrief writeup. What didn’t go as planned, how did he overcome and adjust, what would he do differently?
There is one requirement I haven’t mentioned. The project must be completed to the satisfaction of the benefiting organization, in this case Columbia Audubon Society. Columbia Audubon Society heartily approved Stefan’s Eagle project.
Thank you, Stefan Appold (future Eagle Scout), Troop 6 scouts, parents and scout leaders for this great enhancement for the users of Wild Haven Nature Area.