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Eagle Scout sprouts wings in Raab Park | Dig This

The Raab Park Youth Garden in Poulsbo has been the site for Eagle Scout projects over the past 10 years. Nathaniel Hattrick of Poulsbo, Scout Troop 1571, symbolizes these dedicated young men who went before him.

Nathaniel achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in a celebration and Court of Honor in December 2007, with his community and family — brother Cameron, parents Camille and John Hattrick and grandparents Mike and Marlene Hattrick and Carroll Whitten Jr. — by his side. His project was building a section of raised beds, including estimating, calculating and ordering materials, raising the funds, coordinating volunteers and completing construction.

Here’s Nathaniel’s story in his own words:

What did you learn from the Eagle Project experience?

“Organizing something on that scale is both difficult and rewarding in and of itself. There were plenty of mistakes on my part and just trying to deal with them and fix them was very rewarding. I’m really glad I did it.”

What did you like the best about the experience?

“Just getting everyone together and I got to have a whole bunch of people to come out and they really stayed stalwart and went to all the different sessions I did and some came to all sessions and worked a long time and even people who weren’t scouts or related to scouts helped out. I had family that helped out and it was just great to see everyone come together to work on the project.”

What did you like least about the experience?

“That I had made some math problems and ended up having to order more materials mid-process.”

How much money did you earn from the community participation?

“$775 from family and community donations. In addition, James Lumber & Vern’s Topsoil gave me discounts on merchandise purchases, which was very appreciated. My budget board probably would have been double without their donation of the generous discounts.”

Who would you like to thank?

“Everyone who helped me out — James Lumber, Vern’s Topsoil, all of my family, friends of family, my friends — whether it was 10 minutes or 10 hours I know I wouldn’t have been able to do it all without their help. Marilyn Mathis and her husband Paul Mathis and the Master Gardeners, of course.”

Was it hard to coordinate volunteers?

“Yes, it was especially hard to coordinate volunteers because there were other scouts doing their own Eagle projects at the same time. We try to help each other out as much during projects as we can. It’s really a big thing to coordinate an Eagle Scout project, but our troop is large so we try to get as many people to participate as possible. There was one other project — fairly big going on in our troop at the time so coordination among the two projects was a challenge at times. It all turned out really well in the end.”

Are you glad you did it?

“I’m definitely glad that I did this. It was the culmination of everything I’ve done in Scouts.”

What would you tell others about this experience?

“It was very fulfilling — there’s no other way to say it. What I got from this experience was just a good feeling. It was good to know you did something that in coming years you will look back and see that you made a difference and left it better than it was before.”

What made you want to do an Eagle Scout Project?

“Partially because I really wanted to do it and I was rushing for time (I was 17 when I began it and it was the last chance to do it) I wouldn’t be able to ever do it again. Family encouraged me to do it. It’s something that goes with you the rest of your life and that you’ll always be happy about. I did it a lot for my grandparents. Doing my project was one step in getting to the Eagle. I know it made my dad happy because he’s already an Eagle Scout too.”

What would you tell other Scouts who would want to do a project?

“Don’t put it off until the end.”

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