Local Scout Completes Project

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A local Boy Scout completed his Eagle Scout project last week.

AJ Becktel, a senior at St. Maries High School, has participated in Scouts for about 11 years.

Last week he delivered two wooden picnic tables that he and the members of Troop 442 built for Hope’s Haven.

AJ Becktel delivered benches he and his Boy Scout Troop 442 made and donated to Hope's Haven animal shelter as part of his Eagle Scout project.

AJ Becktel delivered benches he and his Boy Scout Troop 442 made and donated to Hope’s Haven animal shelter as part of his Eagle Scout project.

Members of the troop, including AJ, had previously spent time volunteering at the local animal shelter operated by the Benewah County Humane Society.

“We had six hours of community service we had to complete for two other ranks,” he said. “I did all my service at the shelter.”

When it came time for him to come up with a community service project as a step toward earning his Eagle Scout, he wanted to do something for the shelter.

“Debbie (the shelter’s manager) was always talking about how it would be nice to have somewhere for her volunteers to sit and take a break and/or eat lunch away from the animals,” AJ said. “So when I asked her about building some picnic tables and she said that it was a wonderful idea.”

AJ began work on the project in July, collecting materials and designing the tables. The lumber was donated by Tom and Brenda Jarvi and the remaining supplies were purchased with money the Scouts earned from cleaning out a storage unit.

The Eagle Scout project is about learning leadership, AJ said.

“The Scout leads the whole project,” he said. “It was weird at first having everybody come to me for directions when were building the tables. It was my job to direct the project and make sure everybody had something to do.”

There are 13 members in the local troop. AJ said he has participated for a number of years because he enjoys all that he gets to do through Scouts, especially the travel.

“We’ve backpacked Alaska, been to Glacier National Park twice, and go on monthly campouts,” he said. “You also learn a lot of interesting stuff.”

After graduating from high school, AJ plans to go on to college to study sports medicine and physical therapy. He can see himself being involved in Scouts at some point during his adult life.

AJ is the son of Kenneth and Michelle Becktel.

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