Reminder about nontraditional Eagle projects was music to this Scout’s ears

When 15-year-old Austin Secor of Broomfield, Colo., first proposed his idea for an Eagle project, he got some funny looks.

The project, a musical instrument drive for foster children, was “met with a bit of skepticism, as it was a bit outside the box,” says Austin’s dad, Vincent.

So when I blogged about nontraditional Eagle Scout service projects a couple of months back, the post caught the eye of Austin and his dad.

The post was a reminder that Eagle Scout service projects do not have to be construction-based or permanent to leave a lasting impact. So projects like Austin’s are not only permitted — they’re encouraged.

“My son was inspired, as it helped reinforce his current project,” Vincent says. “So I just wanted to say thank you for the post as it was a huge motivator.”

For his project, Austin collected donated musical instruments, including guitars, violins, flutes, trumpets, trombones, saxophones and a drum set. He collected 34 pieces in all, for a total value of $8,000. Then he got help from a local music store — owned by an Eagle Scout — to repair and refurbish the donated instruments.

Austin didn’t just distribute the instruments to foster children; he organized a distribution party. He served food and brought in local musicians who gave one-hour lessons to the children so they could get acquainted with their new instrument.

“These kids don’t get the same chances and have the same resources most youth do,” Austin says. “This is an opportunity for these youth to fit in at school, to cope with what they have been through in their childhood and to fill a passion for music that could last a lifetime.”

Nicely said, Austin. And nicely done.