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Vikram Ravi’s Eagle project to honor Veterans at the Lafayette Cemetery

The path that led Vikram Ravi to his Eagle Project was very simple, he knew he wanted to honor veterans in some way and be unique, and he knew he didn’t want to physically build something. With these two criteria in mind, he reached out to the Local Veterans Cemetery (The Lafayette Cemetery) to see where he could help out. After a tour, the Lafayette Cemetery’s Director told him that the Cemetery had two problems: first, it was very hard for visitors to find graves of veterans, and that many veterans didn’t have proper grave markers to indicate that that person had fought in a war. Those that actually had a marker usually only had a small and unrecognizable copper stick due to the cemetery not being able to fund anything more. For the first part of the project, he decided to use a tool called MapMe to make an interactive map where users could easily find exactly where the graves of veterans were located. To make the directions precise, Day 1 of his Eagle Project was spent carefully finding all of more than 200 graves at the cemetery and noting down their longitude and latitude. This was an exceptionally grueling process as a lot of these graves were in obscure spots and weren’t properly marked so finding them was a challenge. Once the scouts were able to complete this process, we moved on to Day 2 of the Project which was to input all this data into the MapMe tool in order to actually make the website. They added the: Name, Birth/Death/Burial Date, Branch, and Wars Fought for each veteran. The tool also allowed us to mark each grave down to the inch- letting users accurately find their loved ones with just a quick search.  Due to the sheer amount of numbers to input, this was rigorous that took over 6 hours to complete. The map itself has been used by Wreaths Across America members to easily locate veterans and place wreaths on their graves. For Day 3 of his Eagle Project, they had to order grave markers and flags for each of the veterans and place them beside their burial locations. The goal of these markers was to honor the sacrifices these heroes made for their country by showing that a specific grave belonged to a veteran.  Since the cost was coming out to around $4000, he had to crowdfund the money. He decided to use Gofundme as a means to collect the cash,  and after over 2 months of complications in setting up the site, he was finally able to start fundraising. He reached out to his friends, family, troop, city officials, and social media sites like Nextdoor in order to raise funds, and thanks to great help from the community, they were able to successfully reach our $4000 goal in just under a week. Once he had the cash on hand, we ordered the grave markers and flags and shipped them to the cemetery directly to prepare for Day 3. On this day, the scouts placed the grave markers at each grave belonging to a veteran and put an American Flag on the back. Since our map was recently completed, the Scouts were able to quickly find the burial sites easier and more quicker than on Day 1. When they were finished, it was truly wonderful to see the entire cemetery flooded with American flags and Markers, as they were able to honor many who had not received that respect in their lifetime. Vikram is extremely grateful for his troop and community coming together and supporting him on this project, and he hopes this was able to produce a fitting product. The eagle project was completed in time for Veteran’s Day and it was an honor to see all the happy families come to thank Vikram Ravi for having executed this project. The Wreaths Across America event was held on December 18th at the Lafayette Cemetery and Vikram Ravi was honored by the Cemetary Director, the Mayor of Lafayette, and the Veteran’s families.

Prabhnoor Sodhi’s Eagle Project

Prabhnoor Sodhi’s project was to build a picnic table for the Tri-Valley Sikh Center. The Sikh Center serves free meals to guests, and due to their recent growth and safety precautions due to the pandemic, they have had to serve food outdoors. They did not have much seating for people to sit and eat, and they will heavily benefit from new seating and tables. Also, their current tables are only built for standing, making them inaccessible for many seniors and children. They are also not fully weatherproof and are unable to withstand extreme conditions. The table is able to seat 6-8 people. Not only will people be able to sit and eat together, but this project will also pave the way for many other service projects at this location in the future. Throughout my project, we faced a few challenges, such as the heat, but the shade that we had planned to put up worked well. The construction of the table itself was also a little challenging, but we were able to overcome the challenges due to our extensive planning. For example, we attempted to glue the angled joints together, but since it didn’t work due to the stain, we compensated by adding more screws. Another challenge we faced was that the bolts were too long and were sticking out, being a hazard. We solved this problem by using a hand saw to cut off the excess screw and then filing it down. Overall, however, the project went great, everything went according to plan, and the beneficiary was extremely grateful for the end product.

Ishaan Mokashi leads scouts in weeding trails

On 4/9/22, Ishaan Mokashi led a group of scouts to give back to nature and conserve wildlife. Ishaan faced many struggles, however his most difficult one was the lack of participation in his event. Ishaan resolved this problem by reaching out to scouts and getting them to come to his event. Ishaan helped nature by cleaning out the area. He and his team weeded unwanted plants and removed invasive species. They even chopped down many trees and cleaned up an unusable trail that the neighborhood now uses often. Nature is needed by every community. It helps give you a break after a long day and gives many people joy and something to do at times when things are looking difficult. Ishan and his team helped the community by giving them a new connection to nature and giving the community a place where they can relax and enjoy nature.

Tyler Dee’s Eagle Project at Marylin Avenue Elementary School

Tyler Dee’s eagle project was to help the school garden for the Marylin Avenue Elementary School. The garden is used by the special education class and needed some adjustments to better accommodate disabled kids, especially those in wheelchairs. During the project, scouts built a new raised garden bed that would be easily accessible by wheelchair, removed 6 old garden beds, and laid/compacted over 20 tons of decomposed granite in order to pave a smoother trail for accessibility. The workload was more difficult than anticipated for both workdays, but after a lunchtime pep talk, scouts were able to get the job done. The final product looked great, and the school said the project also may serve as the foundation for future eagle projects.

Arnav Gupta’s Eagle Project at Live Oak Elementary School

On May 21st, 2022, Arnav Gupta led a landscaping event at Live Oak Elementary School. He and the scouts who came with him had a goal to beautify the area for the teachers and students at the school. There was a dirty area, about 130 feet, full of weeds and patches of holes next to the kindergarten area. The scouts weeded the area, put in new layers of topsoil, and dug through the topsoil putting in pavers. Once they had done this, the team made a square formation of pavers, each one about 4 inches deep. Once the pavers and the topsoil were put in, the scouts dug a hole in each square formation and put in the geraniums. The completed area looked very beautiful. In the end, Arnav and his team managed to weed, re-soil, and add new plants to the barren area. They used 60 pavers and 24 bags of topsoil. His project benefited the children and teachers at the school and the community around them.

Jonathan Tan Eagle Project Troop 888

For his Eagle Project, Jon decided to raise awareness of the need for the emergency preparedness. He partnered with the San Ramon Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to arrange an emergency preparedness fair. San Ramon CERT is an autonomous special district of the San Ramon Valley Fire District. CERT empowers residents by providing training in various aspects of the Emergency Preparedness. This eagle project aims to raise awareness of the need for emergency preparedness in the community, with the hopes that the community develops its own plan in the case of an emergency, and provides them with necessary resources and information. It will consist of 3 parts; a website made by scouts that has the necessary information important to the community, The website (see QR code below) will provide the essential information needed for an emergency, for example, the evacuation plan and route, and meeting points. The plan of this project is to inform. To do this, one part of the project is going door to door to 157 homes. And for the door-to-door interaction to be longer-lasting, a pamphlet (see bottom of this page) will be provided to families. The pamphlet will consist of an emergency checklist, the date of the fair as well as information, questions, and graphics that might make families want to attend the fair, and finally, the actual Community Emergency Preparedness Fair. Skills will be taught and demonstrated. Important skills such as Hands only CPR, the correct use of fire extinguisher and outdoor cooking were demonstrated at the Emergency Preparedness Fair. He decided to arrange a total of 6 stations to demonstrate these important skills. He assembled a team of scouts that included both senior and younger scouts. Using EDGE method, Jon trained the senior scouts in the required skills. Older Scouts then trained the younger scouts responsible for demonstrating these skills to the residents who visited the fair. Over 50% of the residents attended the fair and took advantage of the learning opportunity to prepare their own emergency plan. The Emergency Preparedness Fair showcased the following: 1. Hands only CPR 2. Fire extinguisher demonstration 3. Wildfire preparedness 4. First aid kit 5. Go-bag/ 10 essentials The goal of this project is to hopefully have the Cedarwood Loop community to create their own emergency preparedness plan, the project will inform them about the need to do so, but will not create the plan for them. Leadership is made up of social qualities: integrity, the ability to delegate, influence, etc., but it is also made up of personal qualities such as having great time management. My time management has always been a skill that comes to mind first when I think of things that I need to improve on. For quite some time, I was not sure what was the right way to go about improving it. However, my eagle project has shown me that little things can make all the difference, such as simply starting the planning stage earlier, giving myself more time than I expect to need. This way, in the worst possible situation, I’ll have more time to plan on my hands. Time management is a skill that I would love-and am continuing-to hone in on throughout my life.

Suryansh Gupta Leads Scouts in Making a Drain System at Wagner Ranch

On 11/21/21, Suryansh Gupta and a group of scouts went to Wagner Ranch Nature Area. There was a newly built shed that was at risk of being damaged by water, and it was in need of a solution that would make it possible for it not to clog as well. Suryansh and his team of scouts decided to combat this by building a drainage system. This took many steps, but to ensure the new shed would not be easily damaged, it was necessary. Scouts started by digging trenches around the shed for pipes to go under. The pipes needed to go under the soil, and they needed to dig up quite far. After digging the trenches, scouts laid down pipes in the trenches. To combat the problem of the pipes being clogged with dirt, they wrapped them in weed blocker. Once the pipes were fully installed, they were covered with dirt once again. They also added mulch on top, so it would have an improved look as well. The project went really well with the scouts who participated enjoyed it. The project was complex and had a lot of thought put into it, but it all paid off with how well it came out. With this project completed, the new shed at Wagner Ranch is protected from water damage.

Saahil Manekar Cleans up Trails at Wagner Ranch Conservation Area

Saahil Manekar led a group of scouts to clear and clean up trails at Wagner Ranch Conservation Area in Orinda, CA. Many trails and pathways at the site were obstructed by branches and were not easy to walk through. To fix this issue, scouts cut overhanging branches from trees to clear up the paths. Paths all around the area were covered by overhanging bushes as well, which were also trimmed. Many different tools including saws and shears were used to trim plants. The week before the project, there was a lot of rain all over the bay area. This led to water carrying the material a path was made with and depositing it in a different location. This trail was damaged, and things like strollers and wheelchairs could no longer use it. Luckily, this conversation project was right in time, and added an extra thing to fix. With the hard work of the scouts at the conservation project, they were able to restore parts of the pathway. Overall, this conservation project was a huge success. Even with more work than expected, the scouts were able to restore multiple paths. The project was fun and engaging for all scouts that attended.

Scouting Experience

At Troop 888, we strive to provide a scouting experience filled with variety and diversity. We love scouts that are engaged in the scouting program and journey, not the end result, and we are looking for parents that are engaged with the Troop and help the scouts have a great scouting experience

Sponsoring Organization

The American Legion is the largest and oldest veteran organization in the world with over 3,000,000 members. The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization.

Focusing on service to veterans, servicemembers and communities, the Legion evolved from a group of war-weary veterans of World War I into one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States.

Over the years, the Legion has influenced considerable social change in America, won hundreds of benefits for veterans and produced many important programs for children and youth.

Where we meet

Troop 888 meets every Monday 7:00PM at Gale Ranch Middle School 6400 Main Branch Road San Ramon, Ca. 94582 in the Multi-Purpose Room where we plan outings, work on merit badges and work together toward the advancement of the young men in our troop.

Parent Meetings are held every two months on the 2nd Monday of the month at Gale Ranch Middle School Multi-Purpose Room