From the moment he joined Cub Scouts, Colton M. of Troop 162, Arlington, VA, knew that he wished to be an Eagle Scout. To him, that meant “Someone who lives by the Scout oath and law, is a leader, good at helping people, and making sure things happen on time and well. Someone who you can depend upon.” When he crossed the bridge into Scouts BSA, he moved quickly to make it a reality. In two years, he made it to Life and now, at just 13, has completed his Eagle Project.
For his Eagle Project, Colton worked with Westover Baptist Church after he noticed their preschool playground was greatly in need of restoration. The playground’s picnic tables and lawn bench were in a state of disrepair, to the point that the Church’s local pastor feared that the picnic tables would need to be replaced in their entirety, and the lawn bench (the pastor’s favorite) would need to be thrown out. Working with his fellow Scouts, Colton was able to refurbish two of the picnic tables and build four more from scratch, perhaps most importantly, the Scout was able to save the lawn bench. Seeing Colton’s success in saving something he had thought unsalvageable, the pastor was “flabbergasted” and inspired to dedicate a sermon to the project and the restoration.
Throughout the process, Colton employed the leadership and time management skills Scouting had instilled in him. Though initially, he was, in his own words “overbearing,” Colton soon realized that a leader didn’t need to be everywhere and command everyone. This allowed him to step back and delegate tasks. Spacing out activities created ample time for both breaks and improvisation, so that when the Scout faced difficulties like an unexpected break in the wood of the lawn bench, they had the capacity to manage a solution.
Colton is now looking at high school options and hopes to find a school that offers a robust 3D-modeling program and a strong STEM field specialization, especially in engineering. For now, he spends his time working with his own 3D printer and in his father’s woodshop, where he creates all manner of projects, “turning what’s in my head into real life in just a few hours.”
To all Scouts looking to be Eagles, Colton advises, “take a deep breath and plan everything. Don’t rush into it. Make sure everything is planned out properly. Check over every detail, think about every detail, and make sure everything will come out right. Then when you are executing what you planned, everything will come out nicely, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time.”