Two trucks I used to transport all of my collected supplies
Boy Scouts of America added a humanitarian aspect to my personal development. I was taught how to utilize my technical knowledge and natural curiosity to make an impact in my community. Ready for my first large-scale opportunity, I began my Eagle Scout Project at local Title One school, Lawrence Elementary. A school supply drive was perfect; I was helping kids my age and it had potential for a massive impact in the community. Watching kids throw away supplies as school ended was extremely bothersome for me, so I built an entire collection and recycling system at two local schools to collect gently-used supplies. The next step was coordinating booths at stores and asking people to donate supplies as they shopped. With the help of my Boy Scout troop, I collected over one metric ton of school supplies for the students at Lawrence Elementary. The joy and thankfulness of teachers unloading the supplies marked an exciting transition to working in the community at large. This most recent year, I started another supply drive, this time building upon the lessons of my first effort. I set up booths at the same stores as before, but this time I expanded on my recycling portion of the project. Instead of working with two schools, at the end of the year I worked with four. Supply collection was so effective I had to expand and give supplies to Arvada K-8 because I completely fulfilled all of Lawrence Elementary's need for supplies. In addition to
making the project more efficient, I created a system through which my troop can repeat it, even when I’m not there to lead. Not only did the project make a large impact in my local community, I also gained new personal insight. I had never directed my own project before and initially planned to control every person and piece of the project. It quickly became apparent that this style of leadership inhibits the productivity and effectiveness of the group. I had twelve scouts and seven adults distributed across collection booths at three separate stores. Complete control was impossible since I couldn’t be everywhere at once, so I divided up control amongst the adults at the booths. When I stopped at booths to check in, I saw different and more effective versions of my vision for the booths. I realized that people need some free space to work on a project because everyone has unique ideas to improve the effort. When the project finished, I loaded over one metric ton of school supplies into my dad’s truck. Seeing the mountain of supplies in front of me, I realized how large of an impact I can have in others lives. It was also important for me to see how dividing up responsibilities amongst individuals in the group and giving them a plan with room for their own ideas was the most efficient form of leadership. After reflecting on my project, I realized that I can do anything I set my mind to.
Additional portion of PLC