2017-09-07 / Living

Aspiring Eagle Scout builds outdoor classroom to be enjoyed by community

BY TANYA TERRY
810-452-2645 • tterry@mihomepaper.com


Noah Smith’s Eagle Scout project involved making two 10-foot benches and three 8-foot benches for an outdoor classroom at For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum. 
Photo provided Noah Smith’s Eagle Scout project involved making two 10-foot benches and three 8-foot benches for an outdoor classroom at For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum. Photo provided BURTON — As a recent graduate of Bendle High School striving to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, Noah Smith realized his project meant more than the possible promotion.

From Monday, Aug. 28, through Wednesday, Aug. 30, Smith, 17, built an outdoor classroom outside of the treehouse at For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum for the project he hopes will allow him to go from his current rank of Life Scout, to an Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable with the Boy Scouts of America.

“They only had two places where they could have the classes at For- Mar,” Smith said. “One place was the treehouse, which isn’t always open. The new outdoor classroom will give For-Mar staff more flexibility with their scheduling. This also gives people more opportunity to learn about wildlife and the environment.”


Andrew Buffey and other friends and family members helped make Noah Smith’s Eagle Scout project a reality. 
Photo by Tanya Terry Andrew Buffey and other friends and family members helped make Noah Smith’s Eagle Scout project a reality. Photo by Tanya Terry Smith built two 10-foot benches and three 8-foot benches, with the help of friends and family.

“We figured the average person is 1½ to 2 feet and an average kid is half that size,” Smith said. “So, we made it large enough to hold about 26 people. To make it look good aesthetically, we put two benches directly in the front, two off to the side angled towards where the instructor will be and one next to the area where the instructor will be standing.”

Smith said the biggest challenge in making the classroom was drilling the holes on the first day.

“There were tons of roots and rocks,” he said. “We had to use a post hole digger. It started pouring raining on us. It made the soil heavier.”

Smith said scouts from his troop helped him, as well as the scoutmaster, his grandpa, mom, dad, and sister.

Besides actually completing the project, Smith is required to fill out a workbook describing how he raised the funds for his project, who helped him, how he did it and other matters related to the project. He must also submit an Eagle Scout application.

“You have to wait to be approved,” Smith said. “Once approved, you have an Eagle Scout ceremony. You can invite all the people who helped you to talk and thank them.”

When he turns 18 years old, Smith plans to take the ASVAB, on which he must score at least a 31 to fulfill his dream of joining the Air Force. He said the Air Force has a good psychiatry program, which will help him fulfill another dream.

“I want to join the military not only because they provide you with free college, but it’s a sense of duty to my country,” Smith said. “I’m looking forward to becoming a psychiatrist so I can help people.”

Smith said his overall hope about the outdoor classroom is that it gets used a lot. He also said he would like to know a marriage ceremony was held there.

“I would like people to be able to do things they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do,” Smith said. “It serves the community where I’ve grown up and lived my entire life.”

Return to top

Copyright © 2009-2017 The Burton View, All Rights Reserved

Click here for digital edition
2017-09-07 digital edition