Throughout the past few weeks, The Daily Times has done a series of stories about some remarkable young men in the area. These gentlemen have been striving to reach the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest scouting honor.
Through their hard work, these young men have set out to make our community a better place with their service projects.
Becoming an Eagle Scout is no easy task, the Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills before his eighteenth birthday.
Part of becoming an Eagle Scout is completing an Eagle Scout Service Project. The project provides an opportunity for the Scout to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of his community. This is the culmination of the Scout’s leadership training, and it requires a significant effort on his part.
“Many parents and alumni of Notre Dame mentioned that a Prayer Garden would be a nice addition to the school,” said Communications Coordinator, Brandy Setters.
Eagle Scout Grant Sparks took it upon himself to fulfill the wishes of the community and set out to create a rosary garden on the campus.
The garden consists of a complete rosary, laid out of stepping stones, various plantings, benches refurbished for prayer and a statue of Mary.
“I had heard from parents and alumni that having a prayer garden on school grounds, like Catholic universities do, would be a nice addition and another way to express the Catholic faith,” said Sparks. “It was also important to me that my project would be lasting, something that would remain after I had graduated.”
The project resulted in over 280 hours of work completed by parents, students, and scouts.
“I was fortunate to have a great turnout of volunteers on my workday, so with the exception of having to work in the mud, laying the stones, planting and building the pedestal for the statue, everything went along as planned,” Sparks explained.
According to Sparks, the most difficult challenge proved to be having the original plans approved by Chairman Stephen Harvey.
“The school and principal were very receptive to the idea. Getting my plan approved by Mr. Harvey was probably the most difficult as he is such a stickler for details,” Sparks joked. “As far as the actual construction, there were quite a few weeds, trees and debris to be cleared but with the assistance of Mr. Dan Cassidy, that was completed quickly.”
When asked about his approval process Harvey said, “It’s true, I put them through the wringer, they have to think about every step of the process, I do it to make them successful.”
Sparks will graduate from Notre Dame this spring, and when he thinks about the future, he says his experience in Scouting will always play a role in his decisions.
” I plan to major in pre-med, ultimately becoming an orthopedic surgeon,” Sparks explained. “Being an Eagle Scout has made me realize how important setting a good example is and also to appreciate the benefits of planning, organization and hard work. I hope in the future I am able to help other scouts on their trail to Eagle by being a leader and badge counselor.”
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.