2017-11-02 / Living

High school student’s Eagle Scout project benefits elementary school

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


Andrew Buffey has been attending Bendle Public Schools since kindergarten and recently built two benches at West Bendle Elementary as part of an Eagle Scout project. 
Photo by Tanya Terry Andrew Buffey has been attending Bendle Public Schools since kindergarten and recently built two benches at West Bendle Elementary as part of an Eagle Scout project. Photo by Tanya Terry BURTON — Andrew Buffey, age 18, recently built two benches at West Bendle Elementary School as part of his Eagle Scout Project. Buffey, a 10th grader at Bendle High School, has been involved in scouting for about 10 years, starting with Cub Scouts.

“I’ve been attending Bendle Public Schools since kindergarten,” he said. “I care about my school district mostly because they’ve done a lot to help me and other students here. For example, they feed us after school. I also live in the area. So, it’s kind of nice to see something that I did around.”

Buffey said it took him a couple months to complete the project, including planning.

“Planning the project taught me more organization skills,” Buffey said “I lost the packet they give us about doing our projects once, and I had to start over. I learned to be more careful with my stuff.”

Buffey said raising the money was the easier part of the project. He raised most of the money by collecting bottles and mowing lawns. Altogether, he raised about $400.

“A lot of people wanted to help once they knew I was doing an Eagle Scout project,” he said. “Several people each gave me a bag of bottles. I liked that the community was really willing to help out and overall be part of my Eagle Scout project.”

The actual construction took about 15 hours: about five hours the first day, about four hours the second day and six or seven hours on the last day. Members of Buffey’s troop helped with the construction, along with some of their parents, as well as his parents. Buffey said he appreciated their help. Tasks included lining up four by fours, bolting them together, then gluing the bench tops onto stacked bricks, and gluing smaller bricks to the gaps for looks and strength.

“The whole point of the Eagle Scout project is to show leadership and apply what we learned in scouting,” Buffey said. “I knew from scouting you have to be involved. You can’t just boss people around or let other people do everything.”

Buffey said he went to West Bendle not long after building the benches.

“There was a kid sitting on one of the benches reading,” he said. “It made me feel good to know I helped out the community a little bit.”

Buffey said the process of becoming an Eagle Scout is basically a waiting game now. The references he provided will have to confirm his character, and a board will ask him questions. If all goes well, Buffey will be invited to attend a ceremony where he will receive a medal and badge, and he will become an Eagle Scout.

“I’m looking forward to being an Eagle Scout because it will help me out in life,” Buffey said. “There’s a possibility I will join the military, and if I do, I will rank up as an Eagle Scout. If I join the military, it will be because I want to serve my country, and I’d continue to apply what I’ve learned in scouting.”

More than 16 percent of the United States Military Academy (West Point) cadets, 11.9 percent of United States Air Force Academy cadets and 11 percent of United States Naval Academy (Annapolis) midshipmen are Eagle Scouts.

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