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Neel Manekar’s Conservation Project At Albany Bulb

On June 17th, Neel Manekar and a group of other scouts led a successful conservation project at the Albany Bulb, a former landfill on San Francisco Bay known for its outdoor art. The Bulb is a beautiful area near the bay home to 150 bird species, towering trees, and scenic walking trails.                 The main goal of the project was to protect the local environment by removing invasive mustard plants. Under the guidance of their organizer Mrs. Price, the scouts were provided with tools, and their tasks. Some scouts focused on pulling out the invasive plants while others watered the surrounding flora. After over an hour of hard work the group took a picture near the Albany sign to commemorate their work. This project showcased how we should strive to preserve the environment. By removing the invasive plants, they contributed to the protection of the Albany Bulb’s natural ecosystem. Their commitment will hopefully serve as an inspiration for others to participate in other conservation initiatives.

Neel Manekar’s Conservation Project For Friends of Five Creeks

On 5/21/23, Neel Manekar led other scouts to help volunteer at the East Bay.  In association with Friends of Five Creeks, an organization dedicated to maintaining the creeks of the East Bay, he and other scouts did their part to protect the local environment by pulling out invasive perennial pepper weeds which can spread rapidly if left unchecked. After arriving in Berkeley, Ms.Schwartz, the group’s organizer, demonstrated what the scouts would be doing and how they should use the gardening tools. For the next few hours the scouts diligently worked pulling out weeds and restoring the environment. Finally, as a well-deserved treat the scouts visited the Seabreeze Restaurant to celebrate their hard work. Neel’s project shows that giving back to the community can be rewarding and fun!

Isaak Tan’s Conservation Project at Forest Home Farms

Isaak Tan is an outdoor ethics guide for troop 888. He wanted to raise awareness about environmental issues and serve the community. So he led a conservation project where he and other scouts added news plants to the gardens of Forest Home Farms. He started by  San Ramon’s Recreation Leader to set up a project. Then he and a group of 4 other scouts headed to Forest Home Farm to begin the outing. Isaak began by assigning roles and distributing tools. Then the scouts dug holes and used compost to create high quality soil. After that they carefully planted the plants making sure they were evenly spaced out so the roots had room to grow. Finally they covered the plants with mulch to make sure the plants retained moisture. The impact of the project goes beyond just planting trees as Forest Home Farms is an important part of San Ramon’s history. The Farm represents over a century of residential development and the city is very grateful for Isaak’s work.

Pranav Nimmagadda’s Eagle Project At Wagner Ranch

Pranav’s Eagle Project, the Outdoor Classroom, was the construction and installation of seven benches at Wagner Ranch Nature Area, Orinda, CA The students of Wagner Ranch Elementary School desperately needed a brand new set of benches, as the old one had been in use for the past 40 years, and was severely rotten, falling apart, and too short in height. Pranav solved these problems with the installation of benches that would likely outlast the previous set, using higher quality wood, screws, structures, and stain coats. On Day One at Pranav’s house, scouts sanded wood, and drilled 10″ holes into the bottom of each bench leg in order for iron rods to connect the bench to the ground. This would allow each bench to stay put in the ground. After lunch, scouts applied linseed oil (a type of varnish) to the plank part of each bench, and also applied stain coats to the part of the bench legs that would be in contact with the ground to prevent wood decay. On Day Two at Wagner Ranch Nature Area, scouts began by clearing the bench site by removing the seven current benches, and then using rakes to clear the area of loose leaves. Next, one team worked on screwing two bench legs to the bench plank, while the other team set up the Outdoor Classroom Area such that the benches would be in an equal “7-sided circle” using the third bench leg. Lastly, they put it all together, accurately measuring the distance between screws using the pre made plan, and took some pictures. The students at Wagner Ranch will continue to enjoy the benches while learning about biology, Native American history, and ecology for decades from now.  

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.

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