On March 26, TASIS senior Will S. was recognized with a Scout Court of Honor for earning the rank of Eagle Scout – Scouts, BSA's highest award.
In addition to earning over twenty-one merit badges, Will planned, organized, and led an Eagle Scout Project which involved the renovation of part of the Fleming Garden. In the fall, Will plans to attend Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia. We asked him to tell us more about his scouting journey and what inspired his idea to undertake a project in this Grade II Listed garden on the TASIS campus.
When I started my Eagle project process, I knew I needed to find an issue or something missing in my community per the Eagle Scout Project requirements. I started by simply paying attention to the CSP opportunities at school to get a better idea of the projects already being done at TASIS.
After talking with my environmental science teacher, Mr. Hughes, I knew I had the ability to complete a project in the Fleming Garden. Mr. Hughes walked me through the list of tasks that needed to be completed at some point in the garden, and I took on the list as my project. The biggest thing that needed work was the garden bed borders, which were largely rotted or broken apart. Additionally, my volunteers and I patched holes in the walls of the garden, removed old iron pipes that were rusting and taking up space in the garden, refinished the benches by the entrance, and other more temporary garden maintenance tasks.
By far the most difficult part was planning and organizing such an effort to be as efficient as possible. I spent about 40 hours planning the project in addition to the 8 hours over 2 days required to finish the project.
It is expected that Eagle Scout Projects enlist volunteers in order to demonstrate leadership skills. I had 12 additional volunteers which included scouts, family friends, family members, and scout leaders. To fulfill the Scouts BSA project requirements, I had to document my work and write reflections at every step of the process (proposal, approval, planning, executing). This meant that I also had to put together a full report to be sent to my scouting council. This report was about 30 pages long and I spent a similar amount of time doing the report as the rest of the project as each step needed to be approved by the council before I could receive my Eagle Rank.
I would say the most valuable thing I gained from scouts is the ability to deal with difficult situations and to have a positive outlook in the face of difficulty. This project specifically taught me the value of improvising and adapting plans to best fit the needs of a project or a community. I expected to have a third as many volunteers as I did and, as a result, I changed my plans on the day to accomplish more in the same amount of time in the Fleming Garden.
Scouting is more about developing a practical skillset for a successful life rather than just community service and going camping. I would encourage anyone who wants to be better prepared for the challenges ahead of them to join Scouts BSA.