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August 20, 2010 > Eagle Scout project

Eagle Scout project

By Simon Wong

Photo courtesy of Nelson Kirk, Union City Public Works

Sixteen-year old Kevin Gillen of Boy Scouts of America Troop 110 has completed his Eagle Scout project at Fire Station No. 2 (31600 Alvarado Boulevard) next to the Holly Community Center, Union City. During the weekend of August 7 and 8, Gillen executed his landscaping project under the direction of Alex Quintero and Matt Bauchou, Union City Public Works. Firefighters were thrilled with Kevin's project and liked the new look.

Nelson Kirk, Grounds Supervisor, Union City Public Works was the inspiration for the project. Gillen's preparation entailed working closely with Kirk and presenting his Eagle Proposal for approval and sign-off by Scoutmaster Bruce Chan, Unit Committee Member Mike Magno, Nelson Kirk and Eagle Board of Review Member Merl Nygren.

Gillen helped install a Bay-friendly landscape of almost 200 small plants, trees and bushes, with at least 16 of his volunteers on both days and repaired and painted the utility enclosure. He spent a total of 108 hours on the project.

"In scouting, I use communication, leadership, personnel management and first aid skills. As a lifeguard for the City of Union City and marcher for the James Logan High School Marching Band, I have learned leadership qualities such as discipline, social and teaching skills. I brought leadership and communication skills to the project. Whenever a difficult situation arose, such as broken sprinkler heads, buried concrete slabs and tubing that interfered with digging and planting, I consulted the three supervisors, including Mr. Kirk, who helped us on both days," explained Gillen.

"The project's completion has enabled me to contribute to the community and leave a legacy. It has improved the immediate vicinity of the Holly Center and the Fire Station. I hope I've set an example to others."

Gillen has elective merit badges for Fingerprinting, Basketry, Geology, Photography, Leatherworking, Fishing, Bird Study, Small Boat Sailing, Wilderness Survival, Archery, Shotgun, Orienteering, Wood Carving, Art and Oceanology during his five years as a Boy Scout.

Working toward becoming an Eagle Scout has made Gillen more disciplined, sociable and confident. The experience has taught him that personal development, a life-long process, will continue long after his Eagle Court of Honor.

Gillen hopes to attend the University of California and major in Forensic Science, though he is undecided about which campus at this stage. His career choice is driven by his desire to serve the community.

Eagle Scout is the highest attainable rank in Boy Scouting and requires years of dedication and hard work. Scouts must demonstrate proficiency in leadership, service and outdoor skills at multiple levels, earning 21 merit badges and complete a leadership project before achieving the Eagle rank. Less than five percent of Boy Scouts become Eagle Scouts.

For more information about Scouting in the Tri-City area and neighboring cities, visit www.sfbac.org/missionpeak, email joinscouting@sfbac.org or call (510) 577-9000.

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