Ethan Kaufman, a junior at MVA, is pursuing his Eagle Scout ranking in his Boy Scout Troop 225 and chose to do a project on our campus to help him achieve his goal.
The Eagle Scout ranking is the highest rank attainable in the Boys Scouts of America (BSA) program and is no easy task with only four percent of scouts earning this rank since the BSA’s inception in 1911. The rank is earned by a Scout who has been a Life Scout for at least six months, earned at least 21 merit badges and demonstrated Scout Spirit leadership within their troop. Once Ethan had earned the badges, he began planning his project months ago, in which he must plan, research, develop, fundraise, lead, and report on. He wanted to do a project in his community, and as he has attended Montverde Academy since first-grade, he worked with Ms. Meristell Shackelford, Dean of the Lower School, to find a project that would benefit the young students at MVA.
“There were a number of small projects we had wanted to do in our playground area that fit well with his goal,” said Ms. Shackelford. “Ethan is a very gifted young man with a giving heart, and we are grateful that he chose a project that benefits students in the Lower School.”
Ethan’s project included several improvements to the playground and garden area at the Lower School. He recruited a number of his friends (and younger brother) as volunteers, which were a combination of Montverde Academy students and Boy Scouts, who gave time and energy to the project. Ethan and his volunteers built and installed two benches and a balance beam, a theatre-style curtain and sun shade over the outdoor stage, repurposed pallets to create two hanging gardens, a new garden bed, and a picnic table. They also beautified the existing garden by adding mulch around the beds to minimize the care-taking and weeds around the area.
“I had a lot of positive experiences at the Lower School when I was younger, and I wanted to give back to the organization that has done so much for me,” said Ethan. “I worked with Ms. Shackelford to identify how to improve the playground, and I was then able to use the resources of the Boy Scouts to get it done.”
Ethan led his team and took a number of days to build and install the items and not the hot, steamy weather nor intermittent downpours deterred them from completing the installation of the project. Now that the project is completely installed, he will review his plan, budget and outcomes to prepare for his presentation before the BSA review board before finally earning his Eagle Scout designation.
Keep up the great work Ethan!