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Watertown Eagle Scout-To-be Cleans Up Phillips Gym

Watertown Eagle Scout-To-be Cleans Up Phillips Gym

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Publicado porLaura Maas

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Published by: Laura Maas on Mar 25, 2011
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Watertown Eagle Scout-to-be cleans up Phillips gym

By Laura Paine / Staff Writer Wicked Local Watertown Posted Mar 17, 2011 @ 12:38 PM WATERTOWN — The gymnasium at the Phillips School has recently received a face-lift, courtesy of a Watertown Boy Scout with his eye on the future as he finishes the final steps to becoming an Eagle Scout. James Smith, 17, is the assistant patrol leader of Troop 304 in Belmont. He said that when it came time for him to complete a project that would elevate him to the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America, his mom told him that the Phillips School gym was in desperate need of work. “I agreed with her,” Smith said. “Jay Francione said the gym would look great if it had new paint and new flooring and I so I looked at what I had to do, put that in front of my parents and the boy scout troop and rolled it out from there.” Smith, and his volunteers spent more than 160 hours fixing up the lobby, repainting the walls and refinishing the floors of the gym. Senior Patrol Leader Dylan Palmer, a sophomore at Watertown High School, said that Smith did a lot of work and the gym looks really nice. “It’s definitely a lot better than it was, seeing it all sanded down—there was a bunch of dust all over the floor and we had to come in with respirators,” Palmer said. “Now we smell the sweet orange air and we see the floor as it was maybe 50 years ago.” Smith and Palmer worked with other volunteers, including Smith’s father, to use electric sanders to strip the floor before putting a polyurethane coating over it to renew the floors shine and make it easier to clean. Smith said that the unexpected lesson he learned during the project was that his dad is “a very stubborn man.” “I had to fight him a lot at the time because he wanted to do these other things and I told him we had to stick to it my way,” Smith said. “I had to argue with him and show him that it’s my project and fight with him a little bit, but it got done right and it got done my way in the end.” Scout leader Kevin Wenzel said that for Eagle Scout candidates, it is not so much about what leadership project they do, but how they get it done. “[It’s about] learning how to lead a project and demonstrate they can be a leader, motivating other people to take part in the project and push on a group of their peers and other volunteers to get it done,” Wenzel said. “He said it was a lot harder than he expected it to be, getting people to come help. I think that’s a really valuable lesson for young men his age. That is something he will carry with him for the rest of his life.” Smith said he can apply everything he learned in scouts to any group work or project he does and that it was important for him to become an Eagle Scout for that reason. “It is such a small group that it is really a sense of pride and beyond what you learn, when you’ve been in scouts your whole life, you start looking at the next task,” he said. “You keep going ahead, forwards and up. This was another step forward and up.” Smith also said he received high praise from Senior Center, Family Network, Growing Places and EDCO. “I feel great that it’s done,” he said. “Seeing all of them happy makes me feel really great inside knowing that I have done that for them.” Copyright 2011 Watertown TAB. Some rights reserved


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