Eagles serve the community

By making contributions to their community through volunteer work, Diamond Bar High School juniors Aaron Sun and Bobby Zhu from Troop 730 recently received the highest achievement in the Boy Scouts, the Eagle Scout rank.

In order to receive the title of Eagle Scout, they were required to have at least 21 merit badges, a leadership position and the completion of their own service project.

Sun was able to earn his rank by refining the exterior office of the St. Matthew’s Methodist Church. He repainted and polished the benches, trimmed the bushes and roses around the office, placed mulch in many areas of the garden and arranged drou

ght resistant plants around places that were missing vegetation.

“I was able to find my project with the help of my scoutmaster who recommended a church to help renovate,” Sun said via Discord. “From there, I contacted the church representatives to discuss where I could help them improve the church with a project.”

Sun has been in the Boy Scouts since sixth grade, which he joined after four years as a  Cub Scout.

Eagle scout Sun admits that the project would have been easier to organize prior to COVID since there would have been more available workers from the troop to help on the project, as well as more accessibility to conduct fundraisers to aid the project.

“To socially distance during the project, I used a family staging approach which allowed for more workers to come since they were from the same family and didn’t need to socially distance,” Sun said. “I divided the project into three sections for each of the families to work on simultaneously and each family is given personal protective equipment in situations where the families have to get close to each other.”

Zhu, who  has been a Boy Scout for about six years, earned his rank through a service project that refurbished the classrooms of the First Chinese Baptist Church of Walnut. The project involved redoing the walls of the church by filling in holes, removing clutter and repainting them in white.

“I came up with the idea by wanting to give back to my church and when they contacted me about this I thought it was the perfect opportunity,” Zhu said via iMessage.

Sharing the same issues with Sun, Zhu also found difficulties in putting together a project during COVID. Zhu had many precautions in place such as cleaning tools after use, maintaining six-feet distance and wearing masks.

“I think the most difficult part was making sure that COVID safety guidelines were followed,” Zhu said. “Eagle projects are usually interactive but with the six feet distancing, guiding the volunteers was difficult.”

Despite facing such challenges, Zhu said he believes that the Eagle Project turned out well and was finished efficiently.

“It felt amazing after knowing that six years of hard work finally came to fruition,” Zhu said. “I’m thankful that I had this opportunity to try and finally become a distinguished member of Boy Scouts and I will always remember that moment.”

Both Zhu and Sun stated that they will now be working towards earning their Eagle Palms which are essentially awards that scouts can work towards after becoming an eagle scout.

“Due to the new guideline change, Eagle palms are now awarded along with attaining the rank of eagle,” Sun said. I will make some small efforts to attain more of the palms than I already have, but most of my scouting efforts will be toward helping the younger scouts in my troop who are also working hard to rank up and attain the rank of eagle.