Age just a number for Scout siblings
Theres a reason earning the Eagle Scout distinction is the highest goal and arguably biggest challenge for any Boy Scout to achieve.
It takes time, hard work and a commitment to making the world a better place. For those reasons, and the fact that the 18th-birthday deadline serves as strong motivation, it makes sense that earning Eagle status doesnt happen until most Scouts are at least 16 years old. For two West Linn brothers, however, achieving Eagle status was something they wanted to do well before their 18th birthday.
Athey Creek Middle School eighth-grader Andrew Currey and West Linn High School freshman Connor Currey have been an integral part of Troop 396 since graduating from Cub Scouts in elementary school. Theyve made some of their best friends through Scouts, relishing every camping trip and service project thats awarded them opportunities to give back to their community while spending time with their peers. So when they received news in February that their dads job would require relocatation and their family would be moving to Austin, Texas, at the conclusion of the school year it was time to complete their respective Eagle Scout projects.
The boys said they wanted their Eagle Scout project to impact the community where they grew up.
I wanted to do something at my school because I was moving, and I really wanted to leave a mark on the school, Andrew says.
I didnt really know I wanted to get it done this early, but the move really motivated me to get it done for that same reason, Connor says. I was initially thinking, Im 15, Ive got a couple years to finish it when Im 17. Originally I didnt want to finish it until right before my 18th birthday because thats what most people do, and its always a lot of pressure. The move really pushed things forward and kept us going.
With just four months before the move, the two brothers needed to act fast. Andrew knew he wanted to complete his project at Athey Creek, the school hes attended for the entirety of his time in Boy Scouts. He went to science teacher Donna Bell, who told him there was something shed wanted done for some time. He immediately got to work on corralling money and resources for a restoration of the pond and surrounding walking paths behind the school where science classes routinely venture. He planned for new bark and gravel as well as a retaining wall among other updates.
We walked out there and walked around, and she pointed out all these little things she had ideas about, Andrew says. I thought it was a great idea and I really wanted to make the area a great place for students to be because I never got to go out there. Its a certified natural habitat.
Connor, meanwhile, was having a more difficult time finding a project. He initially wanted to do something to benefit the Korean War Memorial in Wilsonville. The Curreys had hosted multiple exchange students from ACMSs sister school in Korea, and Connor traveled to South Korea through the same exchange program when he was in middle school. After some research, however, he found there wasnt any work to be done there. Stumped, he asked CREST (Center for Research in Environmental Sciences and Technology) Director Bob Carlson.
Connor spoke with Willamette fourth-grade teacher Tina Allahverdian, who informed him that she wanted a way to share her class research with the West Linn community. She routinely takes her class down to the Willamette boat docks to learn about wildlife conservation and how to preserve habitats.
He set to work building a large kiosk, complete with a roof, working with students to permanently display their work. Building the wooden structure was foreign to Connor, so he relied on the help of his fellow Scouts and their parents to help him complete the project in the short time frame.
I think the most difficult part was just getting all the pre-work done, like pre-cutting wood, he says. We couldnt do it all by ourselves because we had no idea what to do and we had plans in place that were kind of specific. We had the blueprints done but we didnt have the tools so I relied on emailing our adult leaders to see if anyone could help and offer up their time.
After a great deal of work, Connor finished his project in the beginning of May, making him a certified Eagle Scout. Andrew completed his project right after, utilizing the help of his fellow Scouts and community members, making him the youngest Eagle Scout in Troop 396.
The Curreys will move to Texas just a few days after school gets out, but will return to Oregon for a Scout camping trip and Eagle Scout ceremony Aug. 14.
While they say theyre sad to leave their current troop and friends, theyre also glad they were able to help out West Linn before moving. The Currey brothers say theyll continue with Scouts in Texas, working toward earning their palms post-Eagle achievments to further their status in the Scouting community. No matter how far they travel, though, theyll always have their memories from Troop 396.
I wanted to get my project done because celebrating Eagle was a really big accomplishment for me, and I wanted to do it with people who Ive known in my troop, and not in Texas when Im in this new troop who I dont know as well, Andrew says. It was cool that we both finished around the same time, Connor says. And well come back to see friends and stuff, so well be able to see our projects and remember all the work we did.