Being a Boy Scout, especially in New York City, was a privilege. I spent 8 years in scouts, starting as a WEBELOWS and transitioning to a full-fledged scout at 10½. When it came time to give back to the community as part of my Eagle Project, I wanted to make sure I did something that had a real impact, showed who I was and how scouts were a tool-set, not just a curriculum. This is all to say I wanted to make sure I didn’t just paint another wall or plant another garden.
My project benefited a local assisted living community, specifically housing those with memory-related ailments. Working collaboratively with their staff from day one, we workshopped ideas and ultimately came up with a project that both put our 30 member troop to use, and made the everyday life of the residents more enjoyable.
The plan was two-fold, First I would work with management to put my programming skills to work and create a Newsletter Generator that they could use weekly to individually inform residents about Weather, News, Birthdays, or Interests residents may have a hard time remembering. Next, to collect all of the data needed to feed the algorithms, Scouts would meet 1-1 with each resident to discuss their interests, hear some of their stories, and ultimately provide companionship for a day to a Senior resident.
Over 4 months, and 100’s of man-hours later. Our team of 20 Scouts met with over 75 residents, generated books of data, and delivered software to our partner that met their specifications. After a 7-year scouting journey, I was happy to conclude my time as an active scout with a mark I was proud to leave behind, hopefully providing an enriching experience for both our scouts, the residents, and undoubtedly myself. After council board review, I was granted the rank of Eagle Scout on November 1st, 2017.