Soldiers’ need for rest and relaxation provided just the opportunity a Columbus teen needed for his Eagle Scout project.
Christian Fairbanks, a Life Scout with Boy Scout Troop 559 in Columbus, was searching for an Eagle Scout service project to benefit men and women in the armed services.
“Service to my country is very important to me. My grandfathers served in the Navy and Air Force, and my great-grandfather was president of the Draft Board of Bartholomew County for about 30 years,” Fairbanks said in a Boy Scouts media release.
Soldiers at Camp Atterbury near Edinburgh are busy being trained, processed and sent to various destinations for their missions. But they need a way to unwind.
Fairbanks, a Columbus North High School senior an avid golfer who has signed a letter of intent to play on the Indiana University golf team in the fall, had an idea.
“It seemed natural to take my love for golf and try to give more troops a chance to play at local courses and driving ranges while stationed at Camp Atterbury,” he said.
An Eagle Scout project requires scouts to demonstrate leadership skills learned throughout the Scouting program and provide service within their community. It offers the Scout valuable insights into the leadership challenges of managing projects and volunteers to accomplish service to others, the media release said.
With donations from local businesses and individuals, Fairbanks developed a plan to get golf clubs and balls donated for troops to check out at Atterbury’s recreation center. He held a golf tournament fundraiser and invited troops from Camp Atterbury to enjoy a round of golf at Otter Creek Golf Course in Columbus.
The project involved organizing 33 volunteers, who contributed more than 203 service hours to prepare and gather tournament materials; purchase, prepare and serve lunch; collect donated golf clubs and bags; and clean and deliver the golf equipment to Camp Atterbury.
“It was a big project, and there were times I wondered how it would all come together, but Maj. Gen. (Mark) Pillar and Sgt. Maj. (Michael) Mullins were a tremendous help. With their guidance, we were able to get a great group of Scouts and adult leaders to volunteer and get the work done,” Fairbanks said.
Pillar added, “The troops at Atterbury now have more golf equipment to check out at the recreation center and use at a local golf facility. Working with the Boy Scouts has been a very positive experience and demonstrates their commitment to great community service. I appreciate the work Christian did to organize and execute the project plan and his perseverance in seeing it through.”