“Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). A Scout who attains this rank is called an Eagle Scout or Eagle. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than two million young men,” according to the Boy Scout website.
“Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges and demonstrating Scout Spirit through the Boy Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership. This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages. Eagle Scouts are presented with a medal and a badge that visibly recognizes the accomplishments of the Scout. Additional recognition can be earned through Eagle Palms, awarded for completing additional tenure, leadership, and merit badge requirements.” (Eagle Rank Requirements)
For his project, Tim built a 150- foot ADA-handicap pathway and ramp to the pavilion at the Catholic Church of St. Ann’s, in Marietta. It took Tim and his group eight days, 165 hours total, to complete and it required 18 tons of gravel, two truckloads of dirt and 38,500 pounds of concrete. According to Tim, this was a critical project that allow handicap persons access to the field or pavilion which is used for many church functions.
“I really wanted to do a project that had meaning for me, as well as, enhance the community. I chose St. Ann’s because of the big impact the church has had on my life,” said Tim. “Not only did I attend preschool there, I am currently a Life Teen Team Leader. I have a very special relationship with Father Tom Reilly. My sidewalk gives access to the field for him and others.”
Tim raised money for this project through family and friends, with a significant donation from Kevin Ostheimer of Ostheimer Concrete Paving, who donated his time, talent and cement to help make this happen. Timmy was responsible for organizing 16 volunteers, many from Blessed Trinity, maintaining a safe work environment and staying within the time frame and budget. The entire project cost over $10,000.
“My sidewalk will benefit so many people by allowing accessibility to an area they otherwise could not get to. St. Ann’s parishioners will see the beauty of the Pavilion on Reilly Field. It is cool to see how I have impacted the community and know that the sidewalk will remain there over time,” stated Tim.
Further, during this past summer, Tim achieved his Triple Crown, which is an award given to those Boy Scouts who attend three High Adventure trips. Timmy attended Sea Base (a one-week sailing trip through the Florida Keys manning the sailing rig), Philmont (a 10-day hike up Mount Baldy in New Mexico, a 12,441-foot elevation) and Northern Tier (a 75-mile canoeing trip through the Canadian wilderness).
John Michael Bertrand
This past summer, BT senior John Michael Bertrand earned his Eagle Scout status through Troop 7153 in Johns Creek. Working through MUST Ministries, John Michael, with the help of a group of friends, including many BT students, made, packaged and delivered 200 lunches to underprivileged kids.
According to John Michael, who has been working alongside MUST Ministries for 11 years, he chose this project because he knew it would be make an instant difference. “The only real challenge was getting people to donate items and then raising the extra money to fund the rest of the supplies,” he said.
“A lot of my friends helped me,” John Michael pointed out. “I think I had over 35 volunteers help me throughout the entire project.” Since it was supposed to be a leadership project, he organized a “marketing team” that went out and raised monies needed to buy supplies that were not donated.
John Michael has found his time in Scouts to be more than rewarding. “I have been in Scouts since I was 11 but I was not very interested in it while I was younger. I actually took a break for a year and a half when I just did not participate. But when I came back into it I discovered a new-found love for Boy Scouts.
“Once you are an Eagle Scout you see scouting truly differently; you see it as something that has sculpted you into the young man you are today. It is something that is very difficult to achieve, but it is worth the experiences, memories, and people you meet to get you there to go all the way,” he concluded.
Dallas Downing, a BT senior, became an Eagle Scout recently through Troop 7153 by building donation boxes for Autrey Mill Nature Preserve located in Johns Creek. The boxes are used by visitors for donations to support the preserve’s mission. Dallas and his volunteers installed five boxes on posts around the property and one in the Visitor’s Center.
“I picked this project because it seemed to be the most beneficial,” explained Dallas. “When I met with one of the directors, we discussed many possible projects they needed to be done. Autrey Mill solely relies on grants and donations, but they lose money every year. This project would help supply a more reliable income to support them.”
One of Dallas’ biggest challenges was designing the boxes. Since Autrey Mill did not have any concrete ideas for what the boxes needed to look like “and there were no good templates online, I had to design the boxes myself. I made prototypes and had to make some adjustments midway through building them,” said Dallas. With the help of his dad, Dallas and a group of four scouts and two other adults got the donation boxes built and placed.
According to Dallas, NOT procrastinating with his Eagle Scout project was the key to completing it. “It’s really easy to say, ‘I’m going to work on the paperwork this week and I’ll start the project in a month,’ and then two months later there isn’t any work done. Have a plan, follow it closely, and get it done as soon as possible.”
Cavan Dietrich, a BT senior, recently achieved the status of Eagle Scout through Boy Scout Troop 623 at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church in Sandy Springs. Cavan created an outdoor seating area in the vicinity of the Stations of the Cross meditative path at St. Jude which provides seating and a place of reflection for parishioners and students at St. Jude the Apostle School. The outdoor stone seating plaza also consists of a retaining wall with a circular stone patio.
The idea for the seating area was originally proposed by the gardener/grounds keeper at St. Jude. Since Cavan, who has been in scouts since 1st grade, he wanted to construct a project that would directly benefit his church community, so he jumped at the idea. “The project would also complement my brother’s Eagle Scout project which was the refurbishing of the Stations of the Cross path,” said Cavan. “My dad is experienced in building similar stone patios and structures, so I knew there wouldn’t be many difficulties.”
While excavating the site to create a solid base for the structure, Cavan wasn’t expecting hard clay and roots. “The digging process took about 12 hours total, and making the ground and the block perfectly level was very time consuming,” he explained. Others helping Cavan included a few fellow Scouts, his brother, mom and sister.
Implementing an Eagle Scout project is always time-consuming and inevitably has unforeseen challenges, but for Cavan all the hard work was well worth it. “Prioritize and take it little by little, completing the requirements; eventually the end will be in sight,” said Cavan. “The Eagle Scout rank is a prestigious award and is the culmination of the experience of being a Boy Scout. Know that once you attain the rank of Eagle, you will have a great sense of accomplishment.”
If you know of any more BT Eagles Scouts, please email the communications office at firstname.lastname@example.org.