Scout’s Eagle project aids benefactor
A member of Boy Scout Troop 412 in Corydon repaid an organization that has had a dynamic impact on his life by using it to achieve the rank of Eagle.
Eric McPherson opted to make improvements to the outside of Rainbow’s End Child Care Center in Corydon, a division of Blue River Services Inc. He is the son of Evelyn McPherson of Corydon, director of fund development for Blue River Services, and Calvin McPherson of New Salisbury.
At the age of 2, Eric started attending the infant-toddler program at BRS’s habilitation site in Palmyra because of development delays. He was transferred to the special education preschool, at the childcare center in Corydon, when he was 3.
‘This early intervention program provided him with speech and occupational services,’ said his mother.
Then, when Eric was 4, the special ed staff at the center was involved in the process of diagnosing him with autism.
‘The teachers and therapists at BRS worked with him to overcome some of the communication barriers and the social behaviors that are obstacles for people with autism,’ Evelyn said.
Besides the early intervention services, Eric attended the childcare center after school and during the summers until he was 12.
So the choice was easy when it came time for the Scout to select a project that would allow him to achieve the hard-to-obtain rank.
Only about four percent of all Scouts ever achieve the rank of Eagle. There are several requirements a Scout must meet before he can even apply to earn the rank. Those include attaining the rank of Life Scout and remaining active at least six months. He must also demonstrate that he lives by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law by submitting at least five references who are willing to provide a recommendation on the Scout’s behalf; earn at least 21 merit badges, 12 of which are mandatory; serve a minimum of six months in a leadership position in his troop; plan, develop and provide leadership in a service project which must be approved by the Scoutmaster, troop committee and the district advancement chairmen; provide a statement of ambitions and life purpose, plus a list of positions held in his religious institution, school, camp community or other organizations; and include any honors and awards received.
All of this must be done before the Scout turns 18.
Dan Lowe, president and CEO of Blue River Services approved Eric’s project, which was then coordinated with Lea Mosier, BRS’s properties manager, and Lisa Worden, director of child care and youth services at BRS.
Eric’s project included power washing the concrete blocks of the Corydon daycare before giving them a new coat of paint. (The center received partial funding from a Harrison County Community Foundation grant to replace damaged siding on the front exterior of the building but funding was not available for the painting.) He also decided to spread new mulch that would meet the state’s safety standards on the playground at the daycare.
Twenty-three volunteers from Eric’s Scout troop worked a total of 77 hours to place 65 cubic yards of mulch on the playground.
When it came time for the power washing, Limeberry Lumber in Corydon loaned the necessary equipment. Johnny Grant and Robert Adcock, both of Brandenburg, also loaned the use of their power washers, and Adcock also helped six other volunteers complete that phase of the project. It took them 18 hours to power wash the building.
Limeberry Lumber further supported the project by discounting the 48 gallons of paint and other needed materials to put the primer on the concrete blocks. Scott Limeberry’s in-kind donation saved the agency nearly $1,000 in materials, Evelyn said.
Joe Gassman, owner of a residential and commercial painting business in Radcliff, Ky., agreed to supervise the actual painting project. It took 14 volunteers 65 hours to put on the primer coat in July; 15 volunteers spent 60 hours in August painting the blocks with the final coat.
Gassman’s in-kind donation saved $4,000 in labor.
The McPherson family said they are appreciative of everyone who made it possible for Eric to complete his Eagle Scout project, which involved 39 volunteers who gave 247-1/2 hours. His Court of Honor was held Nov. 19 at First Capital Christian Church in Corydon.
‘We’re thankful that Eric was given the opportunity to do his Eagle Scout project so that he could give back something to the staff whose motto is ‘People Serving People’ at Blue River Services Inc.,’ Evelyn said.