On March 15, at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, Lafayette Boy Scout Troop 204 honored 13 young men who have achieved the Eagle Scout Award. Their Scoutmaster is
Nick Anderson built wooden duck boxes and donated them to the California Waterfowl Association. These boxes will serve to expand nesting grounds for ducks and rejuvenate a species that is struggling. These boxes should last for a decade and each will be able to hatch 200 or more ducks. His project took a total of 114 hours to complete.
Marc Davis developed an iPhone app for the Lafayette Historical Society. The Lafayette Historical Walking Tour is a self-guided tour of historic sites in Lafayette. It includes text, current and past images, and audio. Users can explore the history of Lafayette and slide between the past and present using slider images at various locations. The app contains a map of all the historical locations and uses GPS to guide the user on an audio tour.
Sam Fraser collected preschool supplies for the JF KapnekTrust, a Lafayette-based organization that works to prevent the transmission of pediatric HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe and aims to open more than 100 preschools for needy children. He reached out to Lamorinda schools and received generous donations of early-education supplies from teachers, parents and community members. His work also included packing and preparing customs manifests for these supplies and assisting in their transportation to port for shipping.
Will Goldie designed and assembled computer systems for impoverished schools in Afghanistan. Afghan schools are required to provide computer classes to students, but few have enough computers, if any. He worked with the locally based Trust in Education and raised over $20,000 through online funding site IndieGoGo.com. Goldie used the Raspberry Pi platform, a low-cost computer for education, to build complete computers at less than $200 each. To date he has delivered more than 65 computers to the schools.
Chris Hansen used donated wood from Ashby Lumber and built 50 drawers out of plywood. These drawers benefitted two third-grade classes at Burton Valley Elementary by providing them with reusable drawers for their student desks. He also built and stained a movable bench out of redwood. This bench is used inside and outside the classroom, allowing the students a place to sit and read.
Jack Hood, along with his trusted volunteers, managed, fundraised and ran a weeklong science-based summer camp for underprivileged children. Finding connections with charity foundation Contra Costa Interfaith Housing, Hood held his camp in the Los Medanos complex in Pittsburg. With kids ages 7 to 14, he had to keep their attention while still teaching science and performing experiments. Through this project, he realized how fun it is to teach children as well as the significant difference a small act can make.
Kevin Hull rebuilt and refurbished a dilapidated deck at the Lafayette Community Center. He removed all of the boards on the deck and replaced them with brand new Trex boards, and also finished the railings and posts. Hull sanded and repainted the railings and posts around the deck.
Will McCandless wanted to do something to benefit the Lafayette Reservoir. He worked with Ranger Rod Tripp to determine a suitable project, and chose a fire danger sign to indicate the fire danger level and the associated restrictions. McCandless built the sign, using a router to make the lettering. Friends, family and other scouts helped to paint and install.
Grant Pedder built a 20-foot-long planter box out of concrete blocks outside of the Lafayette School District offices at Stanley Middle School. Pedder had to excavate a large area before construction and filled the planter with drought tolerant succulent plants. The planter box doubles as a much needed bench for people waiting outside of the district offices.
Michael Samaniego collected 170 used soccer uniforms, plus cleats and equipment, from teams throughout Lamorinda, Walnut Creek and Concord. He managed a team of Scouts and soccer players to help clean the uniforms and prepare them for shipment and delivery. Samaniego traveled to Managua, Nicaragua, where he personally delivered the uniforms to a Lasallian elementary school that serves underprivileged children. The highlight of his project was presenting the school's PE teacher and coach with the equipment and uniforms and playing a pickup game with the children.
Grant Smith restored the marquee in the Acalanes High School parking lot. The wooden sign was rotten and cracked, its paint peeling and faded. He sanded the paint, patched the cracks and put a new back on the sign. He repainted the sign in the Acalanes school colors, added supports so the messages could be changed more easily and repaired the broken letter tracks. Finally, he cleared the parking lot of weeds and debris.
Preston Tso worked to rehabilitate the Stanley Middle School tennis courts. The courts had faded in appearance and were in decline. The courts are an important part of the community and in addition to being used every day by middle school students, they also see much recreational use. He repainted all of the lines on the tennis court, in the process totaling 25 rolls of masking tape and three cans of white concrete paint. In addition, he fully swept the courts, cleared off ivy on the fences, put in new net straps for all four courts, and built a bench from existing foundations. In all, the 3-day project amounted to around 140 hours of group work, including planning and buying supplies
Ben Westphal's project was the restoration of the baseball backstops and benches at some of our local schools. He chose this project because the head of the LMYA said this work was badly needed, and that they were becoming a safety hazard and ugly. Westphal gathered the materials and organized a small crew of younger Scouts and proceeded to strip the old paint off by hand, then sanded, patched and applied several coats of fresh paint to the backstops and benches.