Eagle Scout turns attention to playground beautification
|By: Alice Tessier
Andrew Pflomm has never forgotten his second-grade class at
Huckleberry Hill Elementary School, when his teacher, Jean Ross,
used to take the students outdoors on little nature hikes.
What has stuck in his mind, too, is how overgrown the back of the
"There was no place for a teacher to give a lesson outside,"
recalled Andrew, who is now 15 and a sophomore at Brookfield High
That's why, he said, he chose the old kindergarten play area as the
focus of his Eagle Scout project.
To attain Scouting top rank, a Scout has to demonstrate leadership
and successfully undertake a community service project as well as
earn 21 merit badges.
Andrew, who belongs to Troop 135, received the Eagle Scout Award
last week during ceremonies at the Prince of Peace Church, where his
troop regularly meets.
"I have been in the Boy Scouts almost five years," he said. "I
didn't know about the Eagle Award when I started and thought it was
a little farfetched, but in a year it began to be my goal," said the
teen, who began his Scouting experience in 1993, as a Tiger Cub.
The Eagle Scout said he enlisted the help of "about 60
people-Scouts, parents, neighbors and friends"-to work on his
They cleared a 150-by-70-foot fenced in area, which he said was
mostly pavement and "covered in tons of debris."
"We cleaned out brush and poison ivy and had to scrape off the
debris and haul it away," Andrew explained. "We also had to cut down
the vines tangled up in the fence.
"It was literally a jungle there, a maze of roots," he added.
In addition to the cleanup effort, Andrew and his crew installed
"I found a simple design and made them," he said, noting that his
father, a carpenter, helped him with the construction.
"We formed them into a semi-circle so teachers could hold a class
there," he said.
Andrew also made three bluebird boxes for the site.
"I went online to Yahoo.com and found out how to do it," he
Andrew said he has not only enjoyed but also benefited from the
"It shows me how to be focused and taught me good organizational
skills, which is important because I want to be a pilot someday."
He noted that, to pursue that career path, he has been taking
science and math courses at the high school and building up his
skills in other ways.
"I've gotten the aviation merit badge," he added, noting that he
has, in fact, earned 10 merit badges more than the 21 required to be
eligible for the Eagle Award.
"You can get the Eagle Bronze Award if you get five more, and the
Eagle Gold with five after that, and then the Eagle Silver with five
more-and then you can do it all over again," Andrew said in
explaining the process of advancement.
The Eagle Scout said several of his friends have been in Scouting
and that he encourages those who have left it to give it another
"They say it'll be a lot of work but tell them we'll all help them,"
Troop 135 has been in existence since 1995 and currently has 28
members, said Andrew, who is the senior patrol leader for the troop,
which is the highest leadership rank a boy can hold in the troop.
Andrew is not the troop's first Eagle Scout but its ninth member to
achieve Scouting's top award.
He's proud of the achievement but said it "wasn't really hard
work-I'm used to doing things."
In addition to attending school and participating in Scouting,
Andrew works at Bridgewater Chocolates.
"They hired me in the summer to wash up and take out the garbage,
and then when things got busy I was doing shipping and making
chocolates," he said.
What helps to make Scouting a part of Andrew's everyday life is the
fact that his parents are also active with the troop. His father,
Andrew, is the Scoutmaster, and his mother, Sandra, is the troop's
advancement chairman. Also, his sister, Anna-Lee, 13, a student at
Whisconier Middle School, is a member of Girl Scout Troop 295.
©The Brookfield Journal 2004