Painting the path

Junior works toward becoming an Eagle Scout


Photo provided by Zachary Neesen

Junior Zachary Neesen and volunteers work to paint the room numbers used during fire drills on the sidewalks outside of Millard West high school. “On the day of the project, I assigned areas for the volunteers and gave them the needed supplies,” Neesen said. “Then during the project, I checked in with my volunteers repeatedly and offered any help I could.”

Annabelle Harshbarger, Staff Reporter

Setting goals and reaching them is very important for many high schoolers. For junior, Zachary Neesen his goal is to obtain his Eagle Scout. 

Neesen joined Cub Scouts in 2010 when he was in first grade. Five years later, he moved out of cub scouts and into Boy Scouts after he was awarded the Arrow of Light award in 2015. Since then he has been working hard to move up the ranks into Eagle Scouts. 

Over the summer, Neesen worked towards earning his Eagle Scout, which includes doing a project centered around leadership that benefits a nonprofit organization or school. Neesen chose to repaint the classroom numbers around Millard West used during fire drills. 

“I decided to do this project because after a fire drill last year I noticed the numbers were really faded,” Neesen said. “I thought for the safety of my fellow students it would be best if the numbers were redone. Then I realized I could do that for my eagle project as a way to benefit the school”

Before he was able to start his project, Neesen had to go through an approval process. He had to communicate with the school, the troop adult leadership and the scout council of Omaha. After he had all the correct approvals, Neesen began organizing his Eagle Scout project.

The goal of this project was not for Neesen to complete it all on his own, but instead, oversee and direct the project. He planned the process then found volunteers to help execute the project. 

“I first talked to the school about how they wanted the numbers painted,” Neesen said. “I then worked on gathering all the supplies I needed. Then I found volunteers to work on the project with me”

Over three days Neesen and a group of volunteers worked to complete his project. Before the painting could start Neesen and his parents walked around the building and chalked out where the numbers would go. The next day volunteers started painting the numbers on the sidewalk. Neesen oversaw the project and helped to answer any questions or concerns any of the volunteers had. 

Neesen has worked very hard to achieve his goal of becoming an Eagle Scout. He has received over 70 merit badges and received awards during his time in Scouts.

“It is important for me to earn my eagle because it gives me a sense of accomplishment,” Neesen said. “Despite all of my struggles in learning, I can meet all of the requirements and earn my Eagle.” 

Neesen continues to work on his goal of becoming an Eagle Scout. During October he hopes to meet his final requirement, earning his hiking merit which includes a 20-mile hike. He hopes to soon reach his final goal and to earn the title of an Eagle Scout.