Eagle Scout projects at the Zoo primarily revolve around making something special for the animals like the ladders, a hammock for a bear or platforms for goats to climb. But occasionally there is a project that will be just for the humans working in the Zoo. “I wanted to take on the challenge of building a new tool shed for the Zoo to replace the old one,” says Boy Scout Josh Levie. This structure across from the horse and donkey habitat is hard to miss. It stands more than 6 feet tall and is painted red. Inside, the Master Gardeners can store their shovels, rakes and other tools needed to tend to the butterfly and vegetable gardens outside the Dairy Store.
As part of the Eagle Scout project, each Boy Scout needs to raise money to pay for supplies, stick to deadlines and learn leadership skills by recruiting a team to help build the project. Dornuf and Levie both say their favorite part of their projects was coordinating a team for the build. “The leadership skills and discipline that scouting has taught me will hopefully help me in my career goals as well,” says Levie. The rewarding projects are also fulfilling for Waier. “One of the more rewarding things is to see these kids come out here for the initial drive around. They’re very shy, dad’s doing all the talking and then after a few meetings you can see their personality come out. And by the end, they’re speaking up, more confident and even joking around with me. It’s really nice to see these young adults just kind of blossom.”