Local youth completes project for Eagle badge

Boy Scout John Proffer, along with some recruited help, used his free time this summer to build benches for his Eagle Scout project, the highest rank a scout can have. A member of Boy Scout Troop 2815 based out of Chester United Methodist Church, Proffer has been a scout since the first grade.  He delivered eight benches to the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds earlier this month.

“I started thinking about the Eagle Badge when I joined Cub Scouts,” he said. “It was my goal. Two months ago I got it [the project] approved.”

When Proffer started thinking about a project, he looked for ideas from his troop leaders and mentors of the troop. Jan Rusbasan, merit badge counselor for his troop and treasurer for the Chesterfield County Fair Association, immediately thought of the county fair grounds and how they really needed benches for folks attending the fair.  

 “I am proud of John and his accomplishments since it takes several years of hard work and dedication to attain the rank of Eagle Scout,” said Rusbasan.  “The Chesterfield County Fair Association is grateful to John for his willingness to make eight benches for his Eagle project. The benches are so well made that we expect them to last a very long time.  Many fair attendees will be thankful to have a place to sit and rest while at the fair for many years to come.”

According to Proffer, the design he used for the benches was found online. “I looked for a design that combined simplicity with safety,” he said.  “There were some pretty complex designs.”

Once he gathered his material list, he began fund raising.  “The fundraising was the most difficult part,”  he said.  Proffer and his friends had the opportunity to sell snow cones at two neighborhood pools, raising $150. “We also had lots of monetary donations from friends and family and we received a 10 percent discount from Lowe’s.”  Total cost of the project was $800.
Once the work began and the initial cuts were made for the first bench, Proffer and his volunteers were able to crank out the benches in a period of 30 hours with over 100 man-hours.

His parents, Patti and Paul Proffer, are very proud of him.  “He is the first Eagle Scout in our immediate family,” said Patti.  “He pushed hard this last year to be able to earn his Eagle rank.”

Proffer will graduate with the Thomas Dale High School class of 2012 next June.  He has interest in computers but isn’t sure about his college plans.  His favorite part about Scouting is “The camping trips,” he said.

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