When Chris D., of Troop 106 in Osawatomie KS, first started thinking about what he wanted to do for his Eagle project, he knew that he not only wanted to give back to his small town, but he wanted to give the families in his community something to do.
There was a small park hidden near the railroad tracks that was in a state of disrepair. Restoring the park would not be an easy task, but Chris saw this as an opportunity. He did research on safety standards for playground equipment, gathered supplies, and recruited a local pipe fitter to help. He then took his plan to the City Manager and City Council.
Chris was well prepared for the city official’s questions and was granted approval to pursue the restoration of the playground by an unanimous vote. The City Council even took their support of Chris and this project one step further by giving him a $2,000 gift to compete his vision.
He hit the ground running, visiting the local lumber yard to order supplies. The manager and an employee of the lumber yard were so impressed by Chris and his ambition that they payed for the first round of supplies and gave him a $200 donation.
But the community effort to make this project a success didn’t stop there. A local police officer donated a new backboard and basketball hoop for the park. Teachers from the school pulled together $300 to donate to the project. The owners of the local farm goods store donated paint and other supplies. The town historical society helped with a plaque that would recognizing the parks namesake. Neighbors gave Chris supplies and worked alongside him every Saturday and Sunday for six weeks to complete the restorations. It seemed that Chris was rallying the community to make this small town a little better.
On October 24, the city hosted a community wide rededication ceremony to re-open the park and to recognize Chris. Neighbors, friends, and fellow Scouts came out to celebrate Chris’s hard work and dedication.
Chris learned about budgeting, leadership, time management, and gained new trade skills. But more importantly, he learned about his community and how one person can change the lives of those around them.