Students choose, complete Scout projects


Rebekah Dow

Senior Matt Gresham lights a candle during the Eagle Scout ceremony on August 31. Gresham received 41 merit badges as a Boy Scout, and completed his Eagle Scout project by building a large fence, picnic tables and benches for his church.

Rebekah Dow, Reporter

Becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest rank of Boy Scouts, requires hard work and dedication, especially in regards to gaining merit badges and doing the required project. It is also an accomplishment close to the hearts of many people at Harding.

Sophomore Eldon Wagner, prospective Eagle Scout, has a practical reason for wanting to acquire this rank: It will look good on his resume. He also has a more personal motive.

“I feel like I should be able to do something worthwhile and difficult,” he said. “If I can get my Eagle, I know I can do a lot of other big things as well.”

Wagner places great importance on acquiring his Eagle Scout because of its ability to prepare him for life.

“To be an Eagle Scout is to be recognized for already having developed a lot of life skills that are going to be important for life. You learn how to be a citizen; you learn how to be a proper member of a nation, Wagner said.”

Scouts must do a service project to achieve this rank. Wagner is planning on repainting faded curb addresses so that officials can record crime scene information more easily.

“A Scout generally wants to do something that people haven’t done before,” he said. “You have to get out of that mindset and do something that’s just plain useful.”

Sophomore Mitchel Williams has been in Scouts for five years. He has many reasons for wanting to obtain his Eagle Scout, including a desire to help the community and earn scholarships.

“When I was first in Scouts, it was always a big deal to me to see other people get their Eagle Scout,” Williams said, “and I had a pretty good idea that I wanted to get that also.”

For his project, Williams is building a storage shed outside of the gym for the drama department.

“If you look around the school, there’s [sic] drama supplies just kind of everywhere,” Williams said. “Hopefully there can be a definite storage unit for the drama props and other things that they use.”

Williams enjoys the social aspects of Scouting, as he gets to meet and work with new people, and reunite with people he has not seen for years.

“I get to meet tons of new people every single year,” Williams said. “It’s just a privilege to join the social part of Scouting.”

Senior Matthew Gresham had his Eagle Scout ceremony on August 31 after four years of being a Boy Scout. Though he has acquired 41 merit badges, for Gresham the hardest requirement for Eagle Scout was his project, which took about six months to do.  He organized the building of a 170 foot long fence, four benches and four picnic tables for his church.

Gresham said that the path to becoming an Eagle Scout changed every part of his life for the better.

“There is not anything in the world that I would trade my time in scouting for,” Gresham said during his Eagle Scout ceremony. “Every minute of every meeting and every campout and every service project has been a blast and is invaluable.”

Teacher Tom Kindinger acquired his Eagle Scout when he was in high school. His project dealt with organizing recyclable materials, but the hardest part of obtaining this rank was getting the merit badges.

“The hardest one I think was hiking, where you had to do a 20 mile hike in one day,” Kindinger said.

Being an Eagle Scout has influenced Kindinger to be more active outdoors. He still hikes and camps, and has brought this knowledge into the classroom.

“[When I taught Environmental Science], we used to do hikes and different trips and all of it was based on experiences I got in the Scouts” Kindinger said.

Though Kindinger said that the program has become more technology-based, the importance of Scouting, as compared with Gresham and Wagner’s views, is basically the same.

“It teaches you a lot of values [like] integrity and honesty,” Kindinger said. “If you look at people who have made Eagle Scout, for the most part, they’re motivated and they accomplish something with their lives.”