Recently Ian Gulsvig – Rockford Boy Scout, Troop 490 and RHS sophomore – met with the principal of Rockford Middle School-Center for Environmental Sciences, Amy Denneson, to discuss Eagle Scout project ideas. Gulsvig is on his way to attaining Eagle status and was looking for a way to fulfill one of the most substantial requirements.
As it turned out, the school had received pieces of outdoor exercise equipment the fall prior from an Allina Neighborhood Health Connection Grant.
Enter Gulsvig and crew.
He planned and executed an installation and landscaping project that included fundraising and labor recruitment. Both were successful and, during a couple of days in the last week of September, the middle school had stations on its soccer field with health-promoting, functioning outdoor equipment designed for “step-up, pull-up and sit-up.” These stations will be incorporated in the school’s physical education program but are already proving to be a “hit” with community members in proximity.
Denneson reported that the day following installation, there was a youth football game at the middle school, and the equipment was getting “heavy” use.
Gulsvig had a crew of eight to 10 volunteers each of the two days, with former Scoutmaster Jerry Bjiorn showing up for both.
What’s different about this final-phase project for Scouts is that they must take ownership and manage it. Ready to step in at a moment’s notice and assist with elbow grease, a scout moving toward Eagle status has to assume a leadership position. Planning, budgeting, fundraising and recruitment is what they’re required to meet in this challenge. Eagle rank must be attained by a Scout’s 18th birthday.
According to Boy Scouts of America statistics, only 2 percent of Scouts achieve Eagle.
Gulsvig said he is grateful to all who participated in making this project a success, including the Hannover Athletic Association, the Rockford Lions Club, a local hardware merchant and his crew. He has three merit badges left to complete and expects to reach Eagle rank next spring.