Lakeview Junior High School student Connor Thompson is living his lifelong dream.
Thompson has been working the past three months to become the youngest in Boy Scout Troop 256 to earn the top honor of Eagle Scout.
After seeing several classmates coming to school unprepared without school supplies or the means to purchase them, Thompson knew what his Eagle Scout project should be.
With the approval of the Pickerington School board and Scoutmaster Jerry Pritchard, he began to raise money to purchase book bags and supplies for underprivileged school children in the Pickerington School District.
KL: How did you get the idea for your project?
CT: I got the idea for my project when I was in sixth grade last year. I noticed many students didnt have school supplies and needed to borrow from others.
I thought it might be because they couldnt afford to buy their own supplies. I decided that I could help these students by donating supplies to the school.
To get started, I needed to get approval from the Pickerington School Board and from my Scoutmaster, Jerry Pritchard. The school board gave me a list of what kinds of supplies to buy.
I also needed to figure out a way to raise money to buy the book bags and supplies. When I needed to put the supplies in the book bags, I had six of my troop members and three adults help.
KL: How much money did it take to purchase the school supplies you gathered? How did you raise the money?
CT: My project cost a total of $1,011.49. To raise the money, I held a garage sale and sold household items that my family didnt need. My neighbor also donated items to sell. I also mowed lawns, trimmed trees and jet washed.
I went to several stores in the area and received donations from Walgreeens (in Pickerington) and Meijer (in Canal Winchester). I also did a lot of shopping around to make sure I could get the best deals and stretch the money out.
KL: What does this project mean to you?
CT: My Eagle project means that I can help others who are having a hard time getting ready for the school year. It feels good to know that one of my book bags full of supplies might help a family in need and help the student get off to a good start to the school year.
KL: You are the youngest scout in your pack to earn Eagle Scout. What does that feel like?
CT: I still have a little more time before I can reach the Eagle Scout rank. Since I only recently earned my Life rank, I have to wait until December before I can actually sit down for my Eagle Board of Review, and if approved, earn and wear the Eagle badge.
I am very excited to have completed my Eagle Scout project and cannot wait until December. I turned 13 last month and I know its going to be awesome to be the youngest scout in my troop to earn the Eagle Scout rank.
KL: Have you actively been involved in Scouts prior to this particular project?
CT: I have always been very involved in scouting. As a Cub Scout, I was a Super Scout, which means I earned all Webelos Scout achievement pins.
I also earned the Parvuli Dei Catholic pin as a Cub Scout. As a Boy Scout, I camp out at least once a month. I complete many service hours each.
Last year, I was the troop chaplain and troop librarian. I am currently the troop quartermaster and assistant patrol leader.
KL: What has Scouts meant to you?
CT: Scouting has been a huge part of my life. By working on merit badges, scouting has helped me to decide what I want to be in the future, which is an engineer.
I have met many good friends through scouting. Working through the scouting ranks and on my Eagle project has taught me how to set and reach goals, manage a project and leadership.
With these skills and knowledge, I hope to reach my goal of attending the United States Naval Academy in the future.
Its also a great way to learn how to be a leader. There are many chances for every scout to lead other scouts. Also, scouting is a great way to help others.