Lower Columbia Basin Audubon Society

   Eagle Scout Project



by Greg Greger
Friends of Mid-Columbia River Wildlife Refuges



One of the qualifications for Eagle Scout is for the candidate to carry out a project that will involve the development of an outline, working with a mentor, keeping of records, planning and establishing the project's goals, and supervising younger scouts in the completion of the project.   Full documentation (written and photographic) of the process at its completion is required.


In a recent project, I mentored Ben Holland, who needed a project to fulfill his Eagle Scout requirements. When we visited McNary NWR together, I showed Ben the various shore plants growing around Pond IV -- tule reeds, phragmites stems, and cattail plants.  He was also directed to website resources which discussed one-person rafts made from bundles of tule by early Native Americans; however, I suggested that he explore the use of phragmites for the same purpose.


As the project took shape, it included making a one-person raft that would float the maker, and making a flat raft of phragmites-stem bundles to be tied together and anchored in pond IV.  Both are beneficial to the refuge.  The raft was to be visible from the Education Center deck for scope viewing of waterfowl that flew in and made use of the raft for resting and preening.  The completed person-carrying raft would become a permanent display set up next to the present tepee. 


With assistance from a troop of younger scouts and support from his parents and other adults, Ben completed the project as designed. A copy of his final report detailing the development of the project through text and photos has been left with the Education Center Office at McNary NWR for viewing by interested staff and Friends.


The photo on the left shows the finished product of the scout project. 


This is the story of the growth of leadership abilities of a young man in the process of developing his skills in planning and executing the project that would mean the achievement of his special goal.  


Ben Holland's goal was to earn the Eagle Scout rank within the Boy Scouts of America. In the pursuit and completion of that goal, he created what will be a community treasure for the refuge for many years to come.