Q: Whadya get when you have a pastor’s house and a church separated by 130′ wide swath of overgrown vacant land?
A: You have the backdrop for an Eagle Scout Project.
Q: Whadya get when this project is given the go-ahead at the end of January in the Midwest?
A: You get a Midwestern terrestrial parfait layered with snow, 2+” frozen topsoil, followed directly by Midwestern clay and pea gravel….a.k.a., an Eagle Scout Project from Hell.
Q. Who can pull off this Herculean task?
A. One very determined Scout (plus several strong strapping young lads,
a few strong, yet somewhat less-strapping dads, two moms, and a brother).
How it got done…..
Q. How did you decide on this particular project?
A. One of my friends’ Eagle Project was some landscaping at a church that hosts some of our meetings.
I heard that the church wanted a patio installed near the new landscaping, and a pathway from the patio to the pastor’s yard.
Q. So, how’d you come up with the design for this project?
A. I walked the area with the head groundskeeper who had contacted me about the idea in the first place. The church already had a bunch of patio stones of various sizes. I drew up the design and presented it to my Boy Scout Troop Committee. Committee approval meant the build could start.
Q. Did you have a schedule?
A. Yes. Being in school, and with the winter sun setting early, we could only work on weekends. We marked off the area on one weekend and planned for three actual “work” days over the next two weekends.
Day 1: Clear the path of overgrowth.
Day 2: Lay the tiles in the pathway.
Day 3: Dig out and install the tiles for the patio.
This schedule meant completion 1 1/2 weeks prior to my aging out.
Q. How did you go about building the path and patio?
A. First, We marked off the patio with string, then walked the most viable path through the vacant (au naturale) lot separating the church parking lot from the pastor’s yard. It was a slightly winding path, about 130 feet.
Day 1: We tackled clearing and building the pathway. It was covered with a few inches on snow, and frozen underneath. My step dad used a long-handled propane torch to melt the snow and burn off the small brush within the pathway. We used everything from a pick-axe to hand-clippers to remove the woody growth.
Day 2: First of all, we had to clear off snow…again. Then we started laying out the pathway, alternating sizes. Finally, we went back and dug out where we needed to in order to level the stones.
Day 3: Patio day. The single-digit temps had completely frozen the ground. Read More...
MIKE ROWE has some kind of résumé: Distinguished Eagle Scout, pitchman for Ford vehicles and Lee jeans, host of the Emmy-nominated show Dirty Jobs. The man’s Wikipedia entry goes on for five pages.
In fact, Rowe’s arguably the most visible Eagle Scout alive today. But to hear him tell it, he’s not even the most impressive member of his family. That honor, he believes, belongs to his younger brother Scott, who never earned Eagle but accomplished a feat Rowe thinks is even more important: Scott saved a man’s life. Read More...
Terry L. Fossum was born in the poorest city in the U.S., strife with gangs and drugs. In Junior High, he found himself staring down the barrel of an assault rifle one night in his own back alley. In High School, his father was killed. Before he died, one of their neighbors came up to him and said, “I just want to make sure you understand something: Not a single one of your three boys will ever grow up to be anything.” Read More...
The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award was established in 1969 to acknowledge Eagle Scouts who have received extraordinary national-level recognition, fame, or eminence within their field, and have a strong record of voluntary service to their community. Only Eagle Scouts who earned the Eagle Scout rank a minimum of 25 years previously are eligible for nomination. The award is given by the National Eagle Scout Association upon the recommendation of a committee of Distinguished Eagle Scouts.
ou find them in all walks of life. They might be playing outfield for the Philadelphia Phillies (Shane Victorino). Or hosting the show “Dirty Jobs” for the Discovery Channel (Mike Rowe). Or founding Wal-Mart (Sam Walton). Or even becoming president of the United States (Gerald Ford).
The men listed above all have at least one thing in common. All achieved the highest honor possible for a member of the Boy Scouts of America: the rank of Eagle Scout. It’s been 100 years since the first one was awarded. Since then, more than two million young men have reached this milestone, including my son-in-law. Read More...