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NewsDepth A+: Eagle Scout

When I think about my high school, I can remember a few spaces that really weren’t used up to their potential. There are even a few places here at NewsDepth headquarters that could probably be spruced up a bit and people would use them more. Well, Nicholas, a senior at Bay High, in Bay Village, found a spot at his school that could use some tender loving care … the Cafeteria Courtyard … and he turned it into a popular spot for his classmates to relax and eat lunch, and his teachers are even using it as an outdoor classroom space! This week’s A+ Award goes to Nicholas!

When we met with Nicholas, he told us that his inspiration came from a brainstorming session he had with his school’s principal, Mr. Martin. They were meeting because Nicholas was planning his Eagle Scout service project and he wanted to do something at his school. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Boy Scouts, Eagle is the highest rank and it requires that you earn at least 21 merit badges and plan and complete a service project in your community. Astronaut Neil Armstrong and Senator Sherrod Brown are both Eagle Scouts from Ohio.

Mr. Martin and Nicholas decided that he should focus his efforts on a courtyard at the school that was a bit overgrown and needed some work. Nicholas got to work. He told us that he had to first create a plan and schedule to make sure all of the work could be done over the summer. He didn’t want to interfere with anyone’s class schedules. After he came up with his plan, which included a budget, he had to recruit friends and fellow scouts to help with the work. He told us that his crew was very motivated to work hard, but he learned the importance of making sure everyone had something to do.

The first step was to remove old bushes and to pressure wash the walkways. He told us that some of the old bushes were extremely hard to get out of the ground because of their roots, but with some hard work and a little elbow grease, they were able to replace the bushes with newer ones that would grow very well in the space. Nicholas was very proud to tell us that after all of the weeding, pressure washing, and planting, the courtyard is used during the school’s lunches and quite a few teachers have been taking classes out to the courtyard for lessons.

Nicholas shared that he’s been involved with Scouts since he was a first grader at Normandy Elementary. He said he was drawn to the program by the exciting activities he’s gotten to participate in. His favorite merit badge has been Cooking, and he told us the most difficult was Wilderness Survival. I don’t know about you, but those sound like some pretty cool merit badges. Nicholas told us that the biggest lesson he’s learned through scouting, and life in general, is that you should always follow your passions. It doesn’t matter if people say you can’t do something. You should always come up with a plan, work hard, and do your best. That’s some great advice and exactly how I ended up on NewsDepth!

This week’s A+ Award goes to Eagle Scout Nicholas Szekely for finding a way to beautify his school, and give his classmates a great place to relax and eat lunch. Congratulations to Nicholas on his A+ Award, and earning his Eagle Badge. If you were wondering, the project took 170 bags of mulch! I’m sore just thinking about it.

Submit your ideas for our NewsDepth A+ segment to newsdepth@ideastream.org for consideration.

Michael Edelman is the director of education for Ideastream Public Media.