Monday, October 12, 2009

Eagle Scout Projects

Where would we be without the Boy Scouts?

While I was at the World Bird Sanctuary not long ago with my young niece and nephew, I noticed a great deal of unusual activity near the weathering area and Visitor Information Center (VIC).  Since I am always on the lookout for newsworthy articles, I decided to check it out.

What I found was a troop of Boy Scouts and their leader who were helping one of their members fulfill the requirements for his Eagle Scout award.  Scout Tim Smith of Troop 496 had chosen the World Bird Sanctuary as the recipient of his efforts to fulfill his Eagle Scout award requirements.  He had met with the person in charge of our Scout Projects to find out what projects we needed that were within his capabilities.

Tim decided to help improve working conditions for our naturalists who must clean, wash and disinfect our birds' bowls, carpets, night quarters, and anything else that our birds come in contact with every day.  The only source of water at the weathering area and the VIC is an outdoor faucet and hose.  Carpets were being cleaned and scrubbed on a wooden platform, but with no drainage system, the ground was always muddy.  These chores are a 365 day a year job.

Tim's project was to pour a concrete pad and install a drain so that our naturalists could wash and scrub utensils and carpets without standing in the mud.  The project also included a new scrub rack, and drying racks for the carpets.  Sounds simple, right?  Not so.  The purpose of Eagle Scout projects is not only to teach young men about community service, but also to teach organizational skills.  A scout project such as this one involves drawing up plans, making up a list of materials needed, acquiring the materials (whether through donations or purchase), rounding up people to help with the project, and finally, execution of the project.  Often the project spans several weeks of actual construction.

Our thanks go out to Tim and his helpers -- Troopmaster Jack Tejcek, fellow scouts, friends, and parents who assisted with this project.

The next time you are walking the trail at the World Bird Sanctuary, pay particular attention to the plaques on most of our structures--cages, pavilions, buildings, bat houses, bathing pools, etc.  Most of them were constructed by Boy Scouts working toward their Eagle award.  In return for their hard work and wonderful contribution to our organization, the World Bird Sanctuary brings a live eagle to the scout's Eagle Ceremony.

As well as the Eagle Scout projects, we have projects for Girl Scouts, and troops as well.  Our list is long.

For more information contact Roger Holloway, World Bird Sanctuary Facilities Director at 636-861-1392


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