Scouting a way to the stands

Eagle Scout constructs newspaper stands for the journalism department


Photo courtesy of Kameron Heffner

Heffner measures out the shelves for one of the seven newspaper stands. The process was challenging, yet rewarding in several ways. “My favorite part was getting to work with my friends and fellow Scouts on a project that would benefit the school,” Heffner said. “Being in charge of a group of young Scouts on a 110 hour project that could make or break my scouting career was very stressful, but I just had to keep moving forward and not look back.”

Olivia Edwards, Staff Reporter

In some way or another, every high school student is pushed by their parents, teachers and counselors to become actively involved in their community. They’re urged to find and hold leadership positions to list on scholarship and college applications. For many, this is a chore, but for senior Eagle Scout Kameron Heffner, assisting and working for the community has always been an essential part of his Boy Scout career.

This past school year, Heffner along with some of his friends and other Scout members of troop 402 spent 110 hours creating seven stands to hold CATalyst newspapers. Building the stands served as Heffner’s Eagle Scout project, a daunting task that demonstrates a Scout’s ability to give back to the community.

“The requirements for the project is that it must benefit your community in some way,” Heffner said. “It must be led by the Eagle Scout from start to finish: doing budgeting, safety briefs, securing permission and showing leadership along the way. It also has to be approved by the troop, the troop committee and the local scout council.”

While the requirements for the project are somewhat broad, ideas are to be brainstormed and planned by the Scouts themselves. This tests their ability to think ahead as well as make important decisions on their own. Common projects include restoring parks, planting milkweed for butterflies, building recyclable mats for the homeless to sleep on and more. But for Heffner, those ideas seemed too ordinary. 

“I decided to do the newspaper stands because my brother was in Mr. Hilburn’s homeroom,” Heffner said. “He mentioned it to my older brother when he was looking for an Eagle project.”

Millard West senior and CATalyst Editor-in-chief Emma Baker grabs a paper from the stand. She was very excited to see her work on the stands. “It makes me proud to see that all of our hard work in making this paper can be displayed for all of the students to see,” Baker said. “Hopefully this will encourage more people to pick up a paper to read.” (Photo by Olivia Edwards)

Heffner led a group of 8-17 year olds on the project, his team consisting of 13 people. Making the stands was a long process, but after building the first few, Heffner and his friends got the hang of it. Steps included cutting, painting, glueing, screwing pieces together and finally adding the clips to display the paper. Senior Drew Scebold was one of the many who assisted in the process.

“I helped him with the newspaper service project as well as several others along the years,” Scebold said. “We met in Boy Scouts and after a couple campouts, we became good friends.”

In the first grade, Heffner made the decision to join Boy Scouts as a Tiger Cub. He aspired to take after his older brother and father who were both Scouts before him. Through the years, he climbed the ranks until he reached the top as an Eagle Scout, the most honorable rank a Boy Scout can achieve.

The requirements to be an Eagle Scout are to be active in your troop for six months, demonstrate you are have scout spirit by living up to the Scout oath and law, earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, spend six months in a leadership position, plan and give leadership for an Eagle project in accordance to the Eagle Scout workbook, participate in a scoutmaster conference and complete an Eagle Scout Board of Review.

The number of requirements on the list seems colossal, but Heffner has gotten the hang of it. According to Eagle Scout leader Dave Scebold, Heffner has a surplus of positive qualities that make him an impressive leader.

“Kameron’s vast knowledge of Scouting around the world makes him very unique,” Scebold said. “He can tell you about the different traditions and traits of Scouts from all over the world.  He truly enjoys scouting and is eager to share the knowledge and skills he has acquired with others. What surprises me about Kameron is that he is a fairly quiet and reserved person. However, when it comes to Scouting, he has no problems speaking to a group and sharing his experiences.”

Other than being an Eagle Scout, Heffner has a considerable list of other activities he’s involved in. He stays busy with several different activities that help him further develop his leadership skills.

“I am also part of Mic-o-Say, which is a Native American based Scout camping Society,” Heffner said. “I am a chapter Vice Chief in Order of the Arrow, which is Boy Scouts’ own National Honors Society, a leader in my Venturing Crew and also a leader in a Sea Scout Ship, which is a scouting branch for older kids that focuses on water activities and water safety. I don’t have a lot of free time since I spent most of my time with Scouts.”

Being an Eagle Scout isn’t meant for everyone. It’s a dire commitment to leadership and requires staying accountable for participating in all kinds of activities.

“As an Eagle Scout, I am involved with giving leadership back to my troop and helping the younger scouts on their very own trail to Eagle,” Heffner said. “The commitment can be as much or as little you want. For me, I am doing as much as I possibly can. Troop 402, which is my troop, has a meeting every Monday and a campout at least once a month. We also go to summer camp for a couple weeks every summer.”

This isn’t to say that the commitments Heffner makes aren’t fun. Heffner has made a lot of his favorite memories with his Scout companions throughout the years. These memories include backpacking in the backcountry of New Mexico, braving the harsh -18 degree weather in Minnesota, yearly summer camps and the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Beckley, West Virginia where scouts from 168 different countries meet for activities like white water rafting, ziplining, eating different food and making friends from all over.

Throughout the years, Heffner has become grateful for the experiences he’s had. Whether it be leadership or bonding activities, he cherishes his time with Scouts and has grown tremendously as a leader. His final Eagle Scout project aided in more representation for the journalism students and catalyzed their ability to be heard.