Tyler Henry wanted to help Memorial United Methodist Church in Summit Point, W.Va., where his grandmother had attended and where Troop 421 met. As a tribute to his grandmother and a thank-you on behalf of his troop, Tyler decided to take on multiple challenging tasks for his Eagle Scout project: replacing the church’s speakers, upgrading the sound booth and building a table for the sound equipment.
It seemed a little too much for one Scout to tackle. But for three Scouts? You betcha.
So, Tyler encouraged Eric McClaflin and Andre Yates to devote their Eagle projects to helping the church as well.
“Working with my fellow Scouts to complete this project for our Eagle rank was an awesome experience that I will never forget,” Andre says.
Splitting up the work
Tyler decided to take on the sound booth portion of the massive project. He and fellow Scouts first removed a pew and radiator. The floor was raised, so the sound booth operator could have a better view of a church service. Then, the Scouts built the booth with oak wood and stained it to match the existing pews.
Next, Andre replaced the church’s decades-old speakers, which congregants had a hard time hearing from. He removed the old speakers and replaced them with new ones; then, he installed a microphone in the choir loft area. Fathers in the troop who are electricians and engineers helped with the electrical connections.
Finally, Eric and fellow Scouts cut a 10-foot-long piece of wood, stained it and installed it in the sound booth. This now serves as a sturdy place to operate the church’s sound equipment. They also put in some storage containers and a cabinet to secure the church’s electronics.
When they were all finished, Tyler had put in 204 work hours for his Eagle project; Andre’s efforts totaled to 125 hours, and Eric’s project took 124 hours.
“It was nice to give back to the congregation that has given so much to us,” Tyler says.
If your Life Scouts are brainstorming ideas for an Eagle Scout project, encourage them not to shy away from herculean jobs. Looking at the scope of the work needed at the church, Tyler could’ve very easily sought a different project, but he wanted to help the church. By splitting up the tasks, Tyler, Andre and Eric all found worthy projects that tremendously helped the congregation.
If your Scouts have a similar idea, make sure each project meets the rank requirements, demanding that each Scout plan, develop and give leadership for their own project.
“The approving authorities need to ensure each project meets the requirement and is separate and distinct from each other,” says Mike LoVecchio, BSA advancement specialist. “These projects should be executed separately as well — in other words, each on a different day.”
Hat tip: Thanks to Tina McClaflin for sharing this story with us.