Eagle Scout Project to Former Elementary School

West Senior Dedicates Eagle Scout Project to Former Elementary School
Posted on 12/14/2020
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Photo of Eagle Scout Josh Strong“I just wanted to give back to the school that gave me so much,” said Lakota West senior Josh Strong, when asked about why he chose Heritage Early Childhood School as the beneficiary of his recent Eagle Scout project. 


The project gave a major facelift to one of the school’s outdoor learning spaces where students are able to grow their own plants. The overgrown space had become unsuitable to outdoor learning, so Strong committed to making it usable again. About seven months and 127 hours later (280 including volunteers assisting him), the space was cleared of debris and mulched to add a clear walking path between plant boxes. He also gave nearby benches a fresh coat of stain. 


While Strong just officially received his Eagle Scout Award because of COVID-19-related delays, Heritage ECS students have been enjoying their new space for almost a full year already. 


“We love when former students like Josh use their talents to give back in a way that will benefit students for years to come,” said Heritage Principal Missy Alexander. “Many of our classes go and sit and observe wildlife or class read alouds or even mask breaks this year.” 


Strong remembers fondly such activities from his elementary days at Heritage and stands by the benefits of outdoor learning. “It’s important for student to not be cooped up all day,” he said. “They need to be able to explore and follow their curiosities,” Strong said. 


Besides the manual labor involved with pulling off the final product, Strong reflected on the many steps of the process that he had to navigate through. In addition to learning such skills as how to write a formal email and coordinate volunteers, he also learned the value of leaning on available resources and connections. The seven-year scout, for example, landed most of the tools and materials he needed through his network of scouts and their usual community partners.