Gabe's scout team

My name is Gabe Rich and I am a senior at Westerville Central High School in Westerville, Ohio. I recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout during the summer of 2020 as part of Troop 64.

Gabe's scout team
The bluebird box construction team

My Eagle project really began when my parents and I took part in a project organized by Darlene Sillick to help the Ohio Bluebird Society repair and replace some bluebird houses at the Safari Golf Club near The Columbus Zoo. After the work was done, Ms. Sillick told us about what the OBS does and about birding, in general. By the end of the day, Ms. Sillick and I had arranged for support of an Eagle project to update my high school’s nature preserve by adding some bluebird houses, a large bat house, a few trees and a bench where people could peacefully observe nature. The bat house and the birdhouses I used were donated by Ms. Sillick and the OBS. During the Eagle project we also constructed 20 additional bluebird houses to be returned to the OBS for future use.

Gabe with mounted bluebird boxes

In May, 2020, I gathered volunteers from my Troop, keeping in mind COVID-19 rules that required masks and social distancing as well as a limit to the number of people present at any given time/location to ten or less. Using separate stations and working outdoors, we were able to successfully install the birdhouses, the bat house, trees, and the bench.  At another area of the preserve, volunteers helped construct the remaining 20 birdhouses.  The entire project was completed in about 2.5 hours.

We delivered the completed bluebird houses to Ms. Sillick in September after my Eagle rank requirements had been finalized and I received my official certification.

I’m so grateful to Ms. Sillick and the OBS for their contribution and support!

Gabe Rich and Darlene Sillick