November 18, 2017
School & Youth
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  • Anderson Broersma stood beside one of the information stands that he created for his Eagle Scout project.
    Photo courtesy of Kimberly Beasley
    Anderson Broersma stood beside one of the information stands that he created for his Eagle Scout project.

Boy Scout Uses Eagle Project To Help His Former Elementary School

Alyson Kay
Alyson Kay's picture
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October 19, 2017

Five white stands, each holding sheets of paper with QR codes, are scattered around Bodkin Elementary School. Resembling birdhouses, the stands were given to the school by Anderson Broersma, who chose Bodkin as the beneficiary of his Eagle Scout project.

The school is using the stands as a part of its Green School initiative. Each stand contains a QR code that links to a webpage chosen by Bodkin. Three of them contain information about environmental preservation — composting, conserving water and protecting the monarch butterfly. One provides parents with the monthly newsletter. The fifth stand is being used for a fourth-grade class project.

Broersma said that his mother, Kimberly, suggested he do his project at his former elementary school, where she works as a fourth-grade teacher. Kimberly also attended Bodkin during her youth.

“I thought that it looked like a neat idea to do a project for her school,” Broersma said. “It was kind of nice going back.”

Broersma completed the project with the help of Paul Johnson, a family friend. Broersma and Johnson worked together on the design of the stands, which shield the materials from the elements.

“We wanted to protect them from the rain,” Broersma said. “There’s a top to it, so it won’t get damaged.”

Johnson died a month after meeting Broersma to go over the designs, after which Johnson’s friend stepped in to help Broersma complete the project.

Joe Hatcher, Broersma’s longtime scoutmaster, served as Broersma’s Eagle coach. He helped Broersma with the administrative aspects of the project. According to Hatcher, Broersma’s project is unique because not many students use booths that don’t rely on the support of an object, such as a tree.

Two other scouts who previously attended Bodkin Elementary have also completed projects at the school. “One did a small amphitheater in the back,” Hatcher said. “One scout from the troop did a library where you take a book, leave a book.”

Broersma hopes that the stands will help students and parents gain new information about their school and about protecting the environment.

“I’m hoping that the students will use it to gain more learning experience,” Broersma said. “They can use their iPhone to use the QR code to help them out.”

Hatcher hopes that other scouts are encouraged to do similar projects after seeing Broersma’s work. “Hopefully, it will inspire other scouts to do the same thing and ask, ‘What can I do as a Boy Scout to enhance the learning capabilities for students at your school?’” Hatcher said.


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