Eagle Scout project makes a lasting impression
Carol Stream's Ryan Donahoe wanted his Eagle Scout project to be one that would continue to bring happiness to its benefactor.
"I wanted to do something that would last," said the 17-year-old member of Boy Scout Troop 191.
He says many other Scouts choose projects such as collecting food for the needy or raising funds for a worthy cause. Although those are commendable projects, Donahoe had his mind set on doing something that would be long-lasting.
With that goal in mind, Donahoe reviewed his options and chose to tackle something special for members of Carol Stream's St. Luke's Catholic Church, where he is a parishioner.
"I was walking around the parish center and saw an area that really looked bad," Donahoe said. "It didn't seem to have any purpose."
The wooden cross standing in the overgrown area turned out to be the inspiration to create a Rosary garden and a 150-foot path leading to the area.
Receiving approval for his proposed Eagle Scout project, Donahoe moved forward in March with blessings from the church's pastor, the Rev. Thomas Schutter, and Sister Barbara Rowan.
With support from his parents, Kevin and Darlene, siblings Andrea and Kelly, and Scoutmaster Carl Zika, Donahoe readied for the challenge. But first he planned a fundraiser to offset the cost of project supplies.
Thanks to his mom, fellow church members and Scout parents, a variety of sweet treats were donated for a church bake sale, which raised $300.
On the weekend of April 17, his family, Scout parents and about 20 troop members cut the path, weeded, transplanted bushes, moved rocks, added flowers and installed wood chips. It was a very productive couple days.
"It (the Rosary garden) will be there for a while," Donahoe said.
Donahoe is proud that his Scouting journey, which began in second grade, has led to the highest rank in Scouting. It's been rewarding and many lessons have been learned along the way.
"Scouts taught me to be a leader" he said. "And I have learned to accept people for who they are," Donahoe said.
Some of his fondest memories include those of summers at Scout camp in Wisconsin and the sense of brotherhood he has felt as a member of Troop 191, which is hosted by Carol Stream's Fellowship Church.
"Probably I made my best friends from Scouting," he said. And he won't soon forget them.
Following his June graduation from Glenbard North High School, Donahoe plans to attend Northern Illinois University, where he will major in business.
When he's home from college, though, Donahoe plans to help Boy Scout Troop 191 members attain their goals.
In the meantime, he looks forward to his Court of Honor, which will celebrate his Eagle Scout rank.