BRATTLEBORO -- Jon Erik Brodhurst of Brattleboro Scout Troop No. 405 (The Calvin Coolidge District of the Green Mountain Council), has earned the highest award issued by the Boy Scouts of America. A senior at Putney School, Brodhurst received his Eagle pin on March 3 at his court of honor at the American Legion, Post 5 in Brattleboro.
Brodhurst completed his Leadership Service Project on "Building Benches to Establish a Connection" which consisted of designing and constructing two benches in addition to making connections between the locations of each. While identical in construction, each bench uses wood native to each country.
One bench was built locally, at Guilford Community Church, a congregation which often hosted Nobel Peace Prize winner, Wanghari Mattai, founder of The Greenbelt Movement in Kenya, when she visited the U.S. The second bench was constructed under Brodhurst’s direction, beneath a sacred tree near Mattai’s birthplace in Kaiguchu, Kenya. By the time of her death last year, Maathai had inspired women around the world to plant more than 30 million trees to help improve the environment by stopping desertification.
According to the Eagle Scout, his aim was to establish more of a connection between the Brattleboro area, and Kaiguchu, Kenya as well as to honor Maathi, her ideals, and her impact on the world.
He recalls his satisfaction in seeing the project come together in just eight hours in Kaiguchu and says that the Eagle Scout process taught him a lot about perseverance, planning out one’s time, and staying with a goal, even when the pressure was stressful. "I’m very glad that I stuck with it and I now feel very accomplished," Brodhurst said. "The lessons I learned while becoming an Eagle Scout will definitely follow me wherever I go in life."