Scouts impress with impact community projects

As Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts come into high school, some prepare to tackle the ultimate project in their Scouts’ career: the rank of Eagle Scout or the completion of the Girl Scout Gold Award.

In order to become an Eagle Scout, candidates have to organize and execute a complex community service project from beginning to end, often requiring them to recruit and manage many volunteers. “A very detailed proposal has to be submitted and approved by a local council of leaders…The whole process can take up to six months from the beginning of the planning phase to when it is actually executed,” Ethan Baker, senior, said.

Baker managed the building of a bocce ball court at Saint Julie Billiart church in an effort to increase the community building. “I was inspired to pursue Eagle Scout by some really great older scouts in my troop…I wanted to try to be like them,” Baker said.

Evan Lin, senior and an Eagle Scout , centered his project around helping those affected by COVID-19 by making reusable masks for our low-income communities. “I chose this project because there were a lot of people in danger of becoming sick due to the coronavirus and I thought this would be the best way to help out,” Lin said.

Similarly, the Girl Scout Gold Award embodies the idea of community service and requires the Girl Scouts themselves to carry out a project that has a lasting impact on the community. Katie Wu, a senior who recently received her Gold Award, thought it was necessary to take on such a project. “I wanted to help the community and give back, especially because we’ve all been hit hard by this pandemic. Also, I’ve been in Girl Scouts since the very beginning…so this was a way for me to complete the full Girl Scout experience,” Wu said.

Inspired by her long time hobby of piano, Wu shared her love for music by teaching piano basics to a number of underprivileged children, then donated all materials to the local Boys and Girls Club. “I’ve been playing piano since 1st grade, so it’s been a big part of my life,” Wu said. “It can be really relaxing, and with the pandemic going on, I thought it would be good for kids to have piano to fall back on to destress and have something to do.”

Katelyn Truong, senior, found inspiration for her project seeing the impact the Woolsey fire had on her community. “My neighborhood and community was heavily affected by the Woolsey Fire and the aftermath of that inspired me to create my project,” Truong said. With months of hard work, she assembled disaster relief kits containing CPR masks, instructions and solar blankets for every classroom at her local elementary and middle school.

As they approach the end of their Scouting careers, these impressive seniors reflect on their experience and leave some final advice for younger Scouts. “I would advise them to keep working towards their goals no matter what. Although there were some stressful and difficult experiences, it was worth the effort,” Lin said.

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