A message from Resham Shirsat, Director of Sustainability
Partnering with the community is one of Valencia’s strategic goals. When Aaron Fetterhoff, a 16-year old member of St. Luke’s Methodist Church (Orlando/Windermere) Boy Scout Troop 6, was looking to complete requirements to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, he learned from a fellow scout about an opportunity to construct informational kiosks at Valencia’s West Campus that would satisfy the Eagle Scout requirements.
The project had all the elements he would need: to serve in a position of leadership to the troop for a prescribed time, complete a minimum of 21 merit badges including 13 Eagle merit badges, provide service to the community for a prescribed time, and plan, organize and manage a significant project for a non-profit organization.
The Lake Pamela kiosk project became a viable opportunity after Aaron met with now-retired Director of Sustainability Deborah Green and Professor of Building Construction Technology Andy Ray and established the goals of the project upon which to plan and manage the work.
A project proposal was drafted, signed by Andy and then approved by the Central Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Upon approval, a work plan was put into place to fund the project, assemble the materials, pre-cut and assemble certain components, transport materials to the site and recruit the help to install the components on site at each end of Lake Pamela on the West Campus.
Funding for the project came from a variety of sources, including donations from local Lowes and Home Depot stores, family donations and staff donations from Valencia College via the efforts of Deborah and Andy.
At the project’s completion, a report was completed citing the lessons learned, including manpower totals, fundraising, budget and project analyses. Most Eagle projects take about four to six months, depending on the complexity and coordination required. It is not uncommon for projects to string out as the scout learns what it actually takes to complete all of the work and how to become a manager.
Aaron had a total of 29 troop volunteers help to construct and deliver the completed kiosks that were built to explain some of the trail’s features such as the bat and bird houses, butterfly garden and the story of the Lake Pamela restoration.
The work took several weekends to purchase, pre-cut, and assemble materials, and the field fabrication and installation took two Saturdays with a follow up Sunday to complete all of the work. In total, 197 hours of time was invested to benefit the Lake Pamela nature trail.
Aaron began the project in 2013 and completed the project in 2014 under Andy’s direction. This is one of the final requirements for the Eagle Scout rank, which he anticipates completing in the fall of 2015.
According to the National Eagle Scouts Association, “not every boy who joins a Boy Scout troop earns the Eagle Scout rank; only about 5 percent of all Boy Scouts do so. This represents more than 2 million Boy Scouts who have earned the rank since 1912. Nevertheless, the goals of Scouting — citizenship training, character development and personal fitness — remain important for all Scouts, whether or not they attain the Eagle Scout rank.”