Saturday, November 16, 2013

Eagle Scout Project Benefits School District FLL Program

What do Neil Armstrong, Gerald Ford and Steven Spielberg have in common? As teenagers, all three men earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

Only 1 in every 100 boys that join scouts makes it to Eagle.

Requirements to earn the Eagle rank include earning at least 21 merit badges and demonstrating Scout Spirit through the Boy Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership. This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages.

Left to right: Jerry Finkenkeller, Troop 493 scout leader; Michael McMahon,
Rod Jennings, school board director; Occupational Therapist Christina Stephens;
Joylynn Pruitt, Superintendent of Schools;
Nicole Adewale, U. City parent and FLL volunteer extraordinaire.

The highest academic honor at Brittany Woods Middle School is the "Soaring Eagle." It took on a whole new meaning during the recent First Lego League (FLL) regional qualifying competition at Brittany Woods when the School District of University City dedicated eight FLL competition tables. These tables were made by UCHS junior and Boy Scout Michael McMahon as part of his Eagle Scout project.

The tables were constructed for the school district and will now be used by FLL teams within the district for future FLL competitions and other FLL scrambles hosted by the district.

After receiving approval for his project from the BSA Board of Review, Michael first launched a campaign to raise the $400 required to purchase the supplies. His first fundraising attempt was at the St. Louis Regional FRC competition in April of this year.

Michael visited teams in their “pits” and distributed flyers promoting his project and soliciting donations. Michael was pleasantly surprised when people just handed him money after learning about his project. He was even more surprised when he started receiving checks from strangers in the mail - evidence of the power of the USFirst robotics program.

Michael also solicited FLL teams and coaches within University City and found them to be equally as generous.

With the funds raised, Michael set about purchasing the supplies and garnering the support of his fellow scouts. Over four work days Michael completed the eight tables just in time for the November competition.

And, in true scout spirit, in addition to building the tables, Michael also volunteered both days of the competition from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There are still a few more requirements to complete, but when Michael earns his Eagle rank, he will join the long list Eagle Scouts that hail from Troop 493.

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