July 31, 2016

Avery Swank's Eagle Project


Avery Swank's Eagle Project
Todd Swank's Diary for July 31, 2016


Avery is in the process of earning his Eagle Rank for Boy Scouts.  As part of that process he has to lead a large project that will be of some service to the community.


Since Avery is so involved with the robotics team in high school, he decided to help the elementary school FLL robotics team solve a problem with their competition tables.  The tables are very large and were causing damage to the tables they were being set on at the high school during competitions.  So Avery decided to focus his project on adding legs to these 8 tables and building two carts to haul them around.  Our neighbor, Jim, generously offered to help Avery design the prototype, plan and build his project with a group of volunteers.


The prototyping process took quite a bit longer than anticipated as the tables are pretty large and heavy, so they had to try out several different scenarios.


Lucky for Avery and Jim, Bixby was willing to lend a paw and help them figure out the right way to build the cart.


The build days arrived and we had 19 volunteers at our house for the first day and 9 the second day.  Just enough to get the project done in the time allotted.  I was real proud of Avery watching him lead the project and helping each of the volunteers do their part to contribute to its completion.


Troy Brown is Avery's Eagle mentor and has been extremely helpful to him through this process.  It's fun that the boys are still so connected to Troy since he was also the one who recruited them into scouts way back in the first grade!!


He even convinced me to dig in and help a bit which is kind of unusual.  I'm not a real big do it yourself kind of guy.


Luke also enjoyed helping.  He particularly enjoyed drilling and gluing things.


Several of our friends from Scouts came over to help complete the tables and carts.


The garage became a bit crowded at times, but we had a pretty good rhythm going and were able to complete most everything in the 7 hours of build time Avery allotted for the volunteer portion of the project.


We found the glue needed some assistance at times.  Lucky for us, Jim is an avid trap shooter and had all sorts of lead shot for us to use to weigh it down.  Avery calculated that we drug up 775 pounds of shot up the hill to help us.


The tables and carts came together quicker than I was expecting and soon enough the boys were painting the carts.  I personally would have chosen a much flashier color than gray, but nobody asked me.


Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make Avery's Eagle Project a success!


Even Grandma Linda pitched in and helped prepare food for one of the build nights.  Thanks, Grandma Linda!!


On Friday night, we connected with our good friends, the Walters Family, and met many of their extended relatives.  We then sang karaoke for them and probably made them very nervous to be sitting at the same table as us.


Well, maybe Miss Sheri didn't make them nervous, but she doesn't scream into the microphone as much as I do.


On Saturday morning, we had the opportunity to go and watch Conner Walters play goalie during the U13 state lacrosse tournament.  Conner was a star getting at least 7 saves while we watched him and his team win the match 3 to 2.  Way to go, Conner!!