Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2018 – Becoming an Eagle Scout

Name: Daniel McKay
From: Willow Grove, PA
Grade: high school senior
School: Phil-mont Christian Academy
Votes: 0

My
outstanding achievement has been attaining the rank of eagle scout.
To achieve this I had to participate in approximately 300 hours of
community service that have benefited at least 200 people and will
continued to benefit at least another 100 per year for the next
twenty years.

During
the summer of 2017, I worked on the creation of an outdoor community
meeting area at Holy Redeemer Church in Horsham, Pennsylvania. The
aim of this project was to create a place where members of the church
as well as the general public could meet each other and experience
the calming effects of nature. The site chosen was a quiet wooded
area centered between the church and the pastor’s manse. Before the
project started, the site was simply an empty patch of grassy land.


During
my senior year I undertook the leadership role in the creation of a
Gaga Court. Gaga is a recently created game somewhat similar to
Dodgeball. It involves an enclosed court in which the players hit a
small inflated ball with their wrists. The ball then bounces off the
walls of the court, and the point of the game is ultimately to evade
the bouncing ball. The last player to evade the bouncing ball is the
winner. I began by designing the general dimensions of the court on
paper and produced a series of two-dimensional diagrams of the
project on my computer. Once the project was accepted, I worked with
a scout leader to plan the entire process, including material and
equipment needs, personnel, safety requirements, and school building
permissions. I then established a GoFundMe account, which raised
$575. When the financial requirements for the project were met, a
construction date was set, and I solicited members of my scout troop
to help with the project.

The
greatest obstacle I faced in producing the Gaga Court was insuring
that good communication existed between myself and the other scouts.
I began by explaining the goal and the methods of safely
accomplishing it at the construction site. I demonstrated how the
walls were to be constructed safely and watched each member
demonstrate that they understood how to drill screws into the wood
safely and correctly. The Gaga Court that was the result of my Eagle
Scout project is currently being used by the Physical Education
teachers of Phil-Mont Christian Academy. Each day approximately 50
young men and women participate in games under the supervision of a
high school teacher.

The
two construction projects that I have undertaken as a boy scout have
enabled me to acquire an understanding of leadership as well as skill
as a designer and construction engineer. I came to understand that
you cannot simply sit by and wait for opportunities to fall into your
lap. You have to create your own opportunities. Beyond this, the
fact that both projects were designed to facilitate the enjoyment and
community spirit of others is a tribute to the spirit that inspires
me – the spirit to further community.


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