In His Own Words: The Eagle Scout Project

Jackson Young, a senior at Mountain Brook shares the process he went through with his Eagle Scout project. 

I came up with the idea of building owl boxes and presented it to my Eagle Scout coach and he was all for it.  The first thing is I had to find out what kind of owls live in this area. I googled that and found that the Barred or Hoot owls are most common in our community. People love to hear them and they help get rid of rodents. I had to present a budget with a design and an equipment list and we had to figure out the best materials to make them with so we built a prototype.  It needed to be simple enough but strong and long lasting and we had to offer a safety plan when building them. 

Our design needed to be approved by the city. At that meeting they suggested we go from plywood to cedar and that was a great improvement. We built six boxes and I while I didn’t have room in my yard for too many helpers, my friends would drive by and say ‘hey what are  you doing?’ and they’d just stop and help build for a while. 

We supplied goggles and masks because we had to spray a sealant on there. We then predrilled the holes. We had one big bolt at the top and two more at the bottom. Shanda Williams (Parks and Recreation Superintendent) from the city helped us so much. She donated a bucket truck which was critical. We put them up all along the Jemison Trail from Mountain Brook Elementary to the Irondale furnace. 

Less than a month later I was driving past Davenports and my brother was beside me and I was looking in one of the owl boxes and we could see a wing hanging out. It was an incredible feeling. 

Overall I’m mostly just very happy to make my family proud, my dad especially. We all went through this process together and it just feels really good to get to this place. My dad was one of 8 boys and two girls in his family. All eight boys became Eagle Scouts and all of their sons became Eagle Scouts too so it was kind of like, I was the next one in line.   

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