Eagle Scout builds outdoor classroom seating at Middlebrook
Troop 125 Boy Scout and 2016 Wilton High School graduate Trevor Lilly received his Eagle Scout Award during an Eagle Court of Honor Ceremony at the Wilton Episcopal Presbyterian Church Complex on June 12.
The Eagle Scout Award is the highest achievement or rank attainable in Boy Scouts. To receive the performance-based achievement, a scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills, according to the National Eagle Scout Association.
For his Eagle Scout project, Trevor built amphitheater benches for Middlebrook School’s new outdoor learning space.
He said Wilton High School physical education teacher Joanne Lucier approached him with the idea after talking with Middlebrook physical education teacher Heather Schlitz, who was part of a group that wanted to make an outdoor classroom at the middle school.
“They felt that it would be the perfect kind of project for an aspiring Eagle Scout, and Mrs. Lucier knew that I was a Boy Scout so she asked me,” said Trevor, whose project took place during the second phase of Middlebrook’s outdoor classroom construction.
“We started construction near the start of October and finished well into December, but there was a whole write-up process that took place both before and after construction that made it much longer.”
The whole project, Trevor said, “amassed a rough total of 220 community service hours among all participants.”
Trevor, who worked with Schlitz to construct the seating to the middle school’s specifications, finished everything around late-March to early-April and said the hardest part was “being asked to lead something in which [he] had no prior experience.”
“I had never done any project quite this scale,” he said, “and now I had to come up with every last detail of how to go through with it and be confident enough to lead a group of other people to help me complete the project.”
Trevor said he had a lot of help from his troop and other people and “together, we had enough knowledge and skill to carry out the project.”
“I found out that to be a great leader, you don't have to be an expert at everything,” he said. “You just have to be able to use the strengths of those around you to achieve your goal.”
Trevor’s amphitheater is the centerpiece of the school’s larger outdoor learning space project, designed to allow students to better connect with nature.
“I would say the best part for me was the construction,” said Trevor. “I knew I wanted to do a small construction project even before I knew Middlebrook was planning on making an outdoor classroom.”
Although it wound up being a “much bigger project” than he had initially intended, said Trevor, “it was still really fun to construct the whole thing and see everything come together, knowing that I was the one leading this every step of the way.”
“There is an incredible satisfaction of seeing the finished product of something that you've put so much effort into,” he said.
“I think my project turned out really well. It is incredibly sturdy, constructed with all reinforced wood. It is held in place by 20 posts, each of which go two feet into the ground and are weighed down by 160 pounds of cement.”
Trevor said he thinks the finished project also looks “aesthetically pleasing.”
“Functionality and appearance were both very important to me in construction and I think it turned out well on both fronts,” he said.
Schlitz said the outdoor learning space is “open to the entire Middlebrook community and is intended to be used by “anyone who wants to bring authentic learning outside of the four walls of the classroom.”
Click here to learn more about the outdoor classroom.