Many people may take some of the common experiences of growing up for granted. Even something as simple as playing on a playground can be a rare treat for some children.
When Scout Johnathan S. began searching for an Eagle Scout project that would be beneficial for his community, he focused on helping children, specifically children whose families were transitioning out of being homeless.
The Virginian-Pilot shared the story of how Johnathan contacted a local organization, ForKids, which is based in South Norfolk, Virginia, and provides services to families transitioning out of homelessness.
The ForKids facility provides job training and other services to parents. While their parents receive training, kids were able to play on the playground area at the facility. However, some of the existing equipment was in disrepair, and the playground offered only limited options for the children.
Johnathan was able to assemble a team of Scouts and other volunteers to put down mulch within a designated area of the playground. They also installed a playground kit that features a slide, a miniature climbing wall, and a clubhouse.
As part of his playground project, he also was able to repair and replace some equipment that had been at the facility as a result of an Eagle Scout project several years in the past.
“It is perfect,” said Rachel Newnam ForKids Annual Fund and Special Projects manager. “It gives them the ability to be a normal kid, have fun and enjoy the outdoors. It gives them a place to feel safe, but they can also run around a bit.”
“[The Scouts] went in and not only cleaned up the place, but also created that new playset,” she added. “They made it look extra awesome.”
“He actually cares about making other people’s lives better,” said Johnathan’s Assistant Scoutmaster David Stroud. “People that he may not have even met.”
To read more about Johnathan’s playground project, be sure to check out the full article in The Virginian-Pilot.
To learn more about the positive impact that Scouting can have on young people like Johnathan, be sure to check out this article on the recent Tufts study, and watch this video: