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Max's Eagle Scout Project: Improving Biodiversity on Campus

Max's Eagle Scout Project: Improving Biodiversity on Campus

Congratulations to TASIS senior boarding student Max S. on the completion of his Eagle Scout Project. With a focus on biodiversity, Max planned, organized, and led fellow scouts, boarders, and classmates in building birdhouses and bat boxes to be placed on the South Campus of the school.

Working with Ms. Julie Pinhorne, TASIS Estates Manager, over a six-month period, Max created building plans, procured materials, and emphasized the positive environmental impact of the project. The construction of the birdhouses and bat boxes took place in the Fleming Garden over two weekends.

“TASIS continually supports the wildlife and conservation of our campus and looks at ways in which we can enhance the environment for our wildlife and the betterment of our students and staff,” explained Ms. Pinhorne. “As part of the conditions for the planning application and approval for Vicarage Mews extension (2020-21), TASIS agreed to take steps to increase bird and bat activity on the campus by introducing nesting boxes. Max's project successfully achieved this by satisfying the planning approval conditions and, in fact, exceeding the recommended number of nesting boxes.”

Max's final step in earning Scouts, BSA's highest award will be to participate in an Eagle Scout Board of Review, which consists of scouters and adults from the local community. We asked Max, who is from Fort Meyers, Florida, about his commitment to scouting and the work he put into his Eagle project.

I have been involved in scouting since the first grade. Through this, I participated in camping trips and activities while moving up through many different ranks, all while building up to the Eagle Scout. My grandfather completed his Eagle Scout rank many years ago when he was around my age, so in a way, that idea has always been there. It has felt like a constant goal in the back of my mind, slowly being worked towards. 

Since last August, I have been working to plan this and complete it at the school. For me, the ideal situation would be doing it for TASIS, as I have really enjoyed my boarding experience here and wanted to do something that helps that community. I think that this was probably my large goal when coming up with a specific idea.

The planning continued until December, with us coming back and starting the physical phase after break. In total, the planning phase took numerous hours while the physical work was around 12 hours. We constructed eight birdhouses and two bat boxes with the help of fellow scouts as well as volunteer boarding students. Among these were Will S., Mathias C., Nil E., Celeste D'A., Liam W., Miles W., Nathan B., Luiz A., Carlos J., Gregory G., Ayden S., and Aaron B.

The biggest challenge was probably planning the whole thing and navigating the rigorous bureaucratic process of approvals, applications, and the seemingly infinite number of emails. In the end, we came together and completed a great project that helps enrich the biodiversity for the school.

Being a Scout allows me a place to push myself outside of the box while having the support of boys who felt like brothers. The bond formed creates a place where you can learn many unusual skills and information that have come back to help me, whether it's in academics or beyond. One of the greatest feelings is having a diverse “toolbox” and to be able to tackle most situations through the knowledge and experiences that Scouting has provided for me. Being involved in Scouting, especially from a younger age, provides a place where you feel like people have your back. This is important because it allows you to push yourself into doing many new things.

Looking back the highlights of my Scouting career have all been situations when I experienced something new, even some things that may seem crazy and amazing to outsiders. In short, I would encourage kids looking for adventure, the teaching of unconventional skills, and the building of character to look into Scouting.