Part of a Boy Scout’s journey to Eagle Scout, the highest honor a scout can earn, is to do a project that is beneficial to the community or an organization.
Mark Lamb, who is a scout with Jefferson City’s Troop 6, chose to install a flagpole and do some landscaping at the American Red Cross Heart of Missouri Chapter headquarters in Jefferson City for his Eagle project.
“We are very pleased Mark chose the Red Cross for his Eagle project,” said Executive Director Dave Griffith. “It is a perfect fit. We’ve needed a flag pole and we’ve needed landscaping work in the front of our building.
“It could not have worked out better. Mark’s efforts benefit our office and we are proud that it provides one more step in Mark’s goal of earning his Eagle Scout rank.”
Steps to completing the project were not as easy as digging a hole and placing a pole in it. A number of entities had to approve the plan before work could begin.
Mark started by taking his work plan to Troop 6 Scoutmaster Renee Christian and Carl Porting, the troop’s Eagle project coordinator, for their approval. He also had to make sure the plan met expectations of Red Cross officials.
After review, revisions and suggestions from Porting and Red Cross personnel, Mark took the plan to the Boy Scout Five Rivers District’s Eagle project board of review, which supported the project.
Mark then needed approvals from Jefferson City officials since the area where the pole is being placed is on the city’s right-of-way and the work had to meet city codes.
The project also involved asking the city move a bus stop sign in front of the building and the area had to be inspected to make sure no underground utilities were in the work zone.
Mark presented to the plan to city officials and the project worked its way through channels and eventually got city council approval.
Work still had to wait.
Along the way, Mark had to gather materials, get commitments from his fellow scouts to assist with the work and make sure the proper adult supervision would be present. He also had to schedule the work around a summer backpacking trip to Philmont Scout Reservation in New Mexico, which was planned before the Eagle project idea came up.
Finally, after months of preparation, the project, under Mark’s leadership, started Sept. 21.
The work party gathered at the Red Cross office about noon and started right in.
Scouts grabbed rakes, shovels and a posthole digger and went to work while adults monitored them for safety reasons. After a few hours beneath a beautiful September sky, scouts completed the initial phase.
A flagpole base was in place and the majority of the landscaping, which included spreading white rock at the building’s entrance, installing pavers in the shape of a cross on either side of the front door and planting two small trees, was done.
Another work session is scheduled for Sept. 28 to place the pole, which had to wait while the concrete poured in the base cured, and put the finishing touches on the landscaping. Those touches include putting down more rock and switching the gray pavers for red ones, which were not available when Mark and his dad, Melvin, purchased the materials.