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April 19, 2011 > Completion of Eagle Scout project

Completion of Eagle Scout project

By Simon Wong
Photo courtesy of Rajiv Samagond

Union City residents are the beneficiaries of the efforts of yet another young man on the way to becoming an Eagle Scout. Rajiv Samagond, a 16-year old Fremont resident and member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 176 completed his Eagle Scout Project at Alvarado Boulevard and Galaxy Drive, Union City, in early March 2011.

Samagond and his crew of volunteers planted and staked 30 flowering eastern redbud trees (Cercis canadensis) and planted flowering low maintenance shrubs (daylilies, nandina, flax and sea lavender) to rejuvenate an old landscaped area to which 20 cubic yards of mulch was added to help abate weeds and retain soil moisture. The old irrigation system was repaired to accommodate the new plantings and a new irrigation controller will water the area automatically.

Eagle Scout is the highest attainable rank in boy scouting and requires years of dedication and hard work. Fewer than five percent achieve it. Samagond spent two years as a cub scout and has been a boy scout for five years. He has earned the 21 merit badges towards qualifying as an Eagle Scout; a dozen are compulsory and the remaining nine are elective. Samagond chose Soil & Water Conservation, Wilderness Survival, Geology, Reading, Pulp & Paper, Mammal Study, Snow Sports, Small Boat Sailing and Scholarship. While he enjoyed them all, he had most fun with Communications, Swimming, Camping and Small Boat Sailing

"The idea for my project came from one of my orthodontist's staff members, Jackie Kirk. Her husband, Nelson Kirk, happens to be Union City Grounds Supervisor. Mr. Kirk and I brainstormed ideas and found a project that worked for me," Samagond explained.

"There was thorough planning before groundbreaking. The planning phase is the most critical; I spent approximately four months refining all the details and writing my report, identifying each step and anticipating every eventuality. What was needed? What was there to do and who should be assigned to those tasks and functions? The intent was to enable someone else to pick up my report and execute the project exactly as I envisioned. I'd recommend the experience which develops and tests organizational and leadership skills," he added.

"I must thank Troop 176 Eagle Counselor Mr. Curt Strommen for his indispensable, guidance and help through the process to achieving Eagle. Mr. Nelson Kirk helped me plan my project; without his critical information and assistance, the results would not have been so good. My troop's scoutmaster Mr. Schlobohm and the Troop Committee also reviewed and approved my project."

According to Samagond, completion of this project is an important milestone, personally and on the path to becoming an Eagle Scout. He derives a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment from being able to make a long-term difference to the landscaping at Alvarado Boulevard and Galaxy Drive. Moreover, it not only beautifies the neighborhood but visitors leave with a good impression. The experience also gave Troop 176's younger members an idea of what an Eagle Scout project entails.

"I've always aspired to become an Eagle Scout and, as I progressed through the different leadership positions and ranks, it became a definite goal. Becoming an Eagle Scout is an important part of scouting for me and an honor but I also see it as a responsibility," reflected Samagond.

As for the future, the American High School sophomore is unsure of what he wishes to study at college but, currently, computer science and law are possible career paths.

For more information about Scouting within the San Francisco Bay Area Council, visit Alternatively contact Joe Barton at (510) 577-9227 and or Steve Armstrong at about the different scouting units in the Mission Peak District (serves Fremont, Union City and Newark) and Tres Ranchos District (serves Hayward, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo and San Leandro).

For more information about Scouting within the Santa Clara County Council, visit Alternatively, contact Ken Schott at (408) 280-5088 or about the different scouting units in the Coyote Creek District (serves Edenvale, Evergreen, Milpitas, Berryessa, Alum Rock, Mt. Pleasant, parts of downtown and East San Jose).

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