Creates project to help elementary school
By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- Each year, hundreds of young men are honored by becoming Eagle Scouts, which is the highest rank possible in Boy Scouts. But very few of these hard-working students are only 13 years old.
Aaron Johnson, an eighth-grader at Hoover Middle School in Indialantic, is the exception.
Typically, a Boy Scout does not obtain an Eagle Scout badge until the age of 16 or 17.
In order to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, each boy is required to earn a number of merit badges, while demonstrating the Scout spirit of service and leadership. In addition, Scouts are also required to complete a community service project, organize, lead and manage on their own.
For his project, Aaron decided to create 4-foot by 8-foot wooden planter boxes and two 6-foot benches to be placed at Indialantic Elementary School.
"I'm actually kind of young (to be an Eagle Scout)," said Aaron, while sitting on one of the two benches he made for the elementary school. "I attribute (achieving Eagle Scout) to my great Scoutmasters that I have had. They have really helped me get enough merit badges that I needed to achieve this."
Aaron first joined Cub Scouts at the age of 8 and became a Boy Scout at age 11. During his time as a Scout for Troop No. 332, Aaron has had two different Scoutmasters: David Wilson, and, beginning more than a year ago, his own father, Kevin.
"I got an Eagle myself when I was a teen, and I have always thought it has helped me," Mr. Johnson said. "Aaron has embraced and gone after this with self motivation. I have enjoyed seeing him learn some new skills, like going into a store and talking to shop owners, organizing projects, teams and delegating responsibility. He really pushed himself, and I am proud."
For the project, Aaron led nearly 20 others to achieve the new wooden planter boxes and benches for the elementary school. Once all of the supplies were rounded up, Aaron said the overall project took about four hours to complete.
The wooden planter boxes will be used by the Indialantic Elementary Garden Club and other school children as a way to learn about gardening.
Aaron's mother, Colleen, said she is also proud of her son and expects him to do great things when he is older.
"He is interested in engineering and aeronautical engineering right now," she said. "I think he should be a politician. He is great at debating."
After completing his Eagle Scout, Aaron said he plans on staying with the scouts until he is older, while continuing to enjoy being a kid.
"I'll hang in there until my friends leave," he said. "In my opinion, it is a very good organization that can help a lot of people. I'm glad to be a part of it."