Service to others is an important part of the Scout Oath: "... to help other people at all times."
That's why one of the requirements for an Eagle Scout is to plan, develop and give leadership to others through a service project that benefits the community.
Dustin Ownbey, a Delta High School senior, had earned the requisite number of merit badges and was ready to pursue Scouting's highest rank. He is also active in Young Life, and realized he could merge two of his interests into a project that would benefit Young Life while fulfilling the service requirement for the Eagle rank.
Young Life meetings are held weekly on Monday nights. They're a great place to interact with friends and start the week off right, Ownbey said. Young Life leaders are eager to share the love and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ, but they don't shove Christianity down anybody's throat.
When he pulled up to the Young Life house on 13th Street, Ownbey couldn't help but notice how haphazardly everyone parked. Students often got goatheads in their shoes walking to and from their cars, and backing out onto 13th Street was unsafe. The back yard of the house was nothing but dirt, and the chainlink fence just petered out. This was clearly a great opportunity to be of service.
The first step was organizing a yard sale and car wash to raise funds for materials. Scoutmaster Andy Grange, Boy Scout Troop 486, and Dustin's parents, Robert and Angela Ownbey, jumped in to help.
Over the next two summers, Dustin, his parents and fellow Scouts installed a sprinkler system, put down landscape fabric, planted grass seed, extended the chainlink fence, laid road base and moved in large boulders to delineate the parking area.
S&E Ward Landscaping provided labor and instuction for the irrigation system, and Scot Buhrdorf and TK Mining donated a tractor to move the gravel, also provided by TK Mining. Southwest Soils donated the boulders, ReclaMetals provided steel edging and England Fence donated fence materials.
Ownbey estimates the cost of the project at about $3,500, half of which was donated. Over 350 hours of labor was dedicated to the project, including 115 from Ownbey himself.
The project continues to evolve, he said. There are plans to improve the parking area by adding more road base. Maintenance is a "group effort."
Dustin joined Cub Scouts when he was a first grader and living in Dillon. After moving to Delta 12 years ago he got involved in Cub Scouts almost immediately. He became a Boy Scout after leaving elementary school and has been picking up merit badges ever since. One of his favorites is a wilderness survival badge earned at Scout Camp, for which he spent the night in an improvised shelter and got a fire going using three different methods other than matches. He also fulfilled several other requirements using the supplies one would normally carry in a backpack when they were setting out for a day hike.
Ownbey is a cross-country runner who hopes to continue running while pursuing a degree in engineering at Colorado School of Mines or Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif.
"Dustin's Eagle Scout project did more than just beautify the Young Life house property, it made it more usable and inviting," said Young Life director Ty Gallenbeck. "In that way it provides us a better environment to reach out to the students of Delta County.
"As an Eagle Scout myself I understand the work and dedication it takes to pull something like this off. Dustin should be proud — he did an incredible job."blog comments powered by Disqus