Eagle Scout project benefits Goshen High School

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Eagle Scout Kevin Ryan sits on the bleachers at Goshen High School that he arranged to be repaired as his Eagle Scout project.

Eagle Scout Kevin Ryan sits on the bleachers at Goshen High School that he arranged to be repaired as his Eagle Scout project.

When Kevin Ryan joined Boy Scout Troop 555 in Troy seven years ago, he knew he was stepping into big shoes.

“I had a big bill to pay,” Ryan said. “My great-great grandfather was the first Eagle Scout in Canada and my dad, Jeff, was an Eagle Scout so….”

Ryan had not taken the usual path on his quest to achieve the highest honor a Boy Scout can receive, that of Eagle Scout.

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He had not been through the Cub Scout program. “That just didn’t work out for me.”

“But, my dad wanted me to join the Boy Scouts when I was 11 and I did,” Ryan said. “I really enjoyed it and wanted to become an Eagle Scout. I want to pay the bill.”

Earning the rank of Eagle Scout requires dedication and commitment for the journey is long. For Ryan, the journey took seven years.

To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, a Scout must complete 21 merit badges including required badges in first aid, citizenship in the community, nation and world, communication, personal fitness, emergency preparedness and in a variety of outdoor skills. The Scout must also serve his troop in leadership roles and complete a service project of benefit to the community, a religious institution or school.

Ryan joined Boy Scout Troop 555 that is supported by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

“I was already involved in church so I joined Troop 555 and I did a lot of things and learned a lot,” Ryan said. “My dad, Jeff, was Scoutmaster some of that time. I enjoyed all of the merit badge work but my favorite badges were the shooting ones, like archery and black powder rifles, and I really liked wilderness survival. It was a blast.”

Ryan said the Scouts ventured into the wilderness around Camp Ala-Flo near Enterprise.

“We could only carry what we could put in a plastic, gallon jug. We could take no food or water. We had to start our fires with non-lighter materials. We slept on the ground. It was cold and it was hard to get warm. We had to hunt down chickens and kill and gut them. We learned to survive in the wilderness.”

Fort Rucker brought in a Huey helicopter and assisted the Scouts with wilderness rescue techniques.

“We learned to signal with mirrors and other rescue techniques,” Ryan said. “That was very interesting. It was a great experience.”

Ryan had several local Scout jamborees to his credit. So, with his badge work completed and a wealth of Scouting experience to his credit, he was ready to develop his Eagle Scout project, which, upon completion would qualify him for the rank of Eagle Scout.

“Before I was home schooled, I went to Goshen for a while,” Ryan said. “I live close to the school and I go to the high school to take my exams. I noticed that the bleachers at the baseball fields looked … decrepit. The frames had rusted. The boards had holes in some of them. The screws were exposed and some of the boards could be easily pulled off. The bleachers were unsafe. A lot of work had been done on the baseball field and it looked nice. The bleachers needed to be repaired.”

Ryan decided the repair of the bleachers would be a good Eagle Scout project.

“I talked with the principal and baseball coach at Goshen High School,” he said. “They liked the idea.”

Together, they decided the frames should be painted purple and the board stained honey gold to match the school colors. Ryan put the idea and plans to paper and presented it to the Eagle review board.

Once the project was approved, he put the plans in motion.

He enlisted the assistance of local businesses, Lowe’s, Sherwin-Williams, Blockwire, Sticky Frogs, EEZ TEC Solutions and a whole host of friends.

“About 15 people worked two days over two weeks time to get everything done,” Ryan said. “Once the bleachers were completed, everyone seemed pleased. I think they are a great addition to the baseball field and will be around for a long time.”

Ryan expressed appreciation to all of those who supported his Eagle Scout project – those who donated supplies and those who did the nuts and bolts work.

Ryan is looking forward to formally being awarded Scouting’s highest rank at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor to be held later this month.