Children and Youth

Brendan Barton Completes Eagle Scout project at Hollister Airport Park

Brendan Barton leads team that installs reader board at Jerry Gabe Memorial Dog Park

The Hollister Municipal Airport was improved yet again by the efforts of a Boy Scout trying to obtain his Eagle rank. On Feb., 28 Brendan Barton of Troop 436 led a team of 13 scouts and adults in building a reader board for the Jerry Gabe Memorial Dog Park located at the airport. This comes in the wake of another Eagle Scout project taking place at the Hollister Airport led by a Troop 436 scout (Liam Row), and other Eagle projects around Hollister (Andrew Pearson, Christopher Chambless).

Barton's project came right as Michael Chambless, director of the Hollister Municipal Airport, was pushing to improve the site. Last year, Chambless had Troop 436 Scout Liam Row build ADA-compliant paths around the dog park. Barton told BenitoLink he wanted to build the reader board because “the dog park needed some way for those who attended it to inform one another of upcoming events, bulletins pertaining to the park (lost dog, found dog, etc.), and citywide events.”

Eagle Scout is the highest rank in scouting, and the hardest to achieve, due in part to the difficulty of the Eagle Scout project, the major requirement. Eagle candidates must go through intense scrutiny of their projects by Eagle Boards, groups intended to pick out flaws in a scout’s project proposal. The Eagle Scout project represents the ultimate leadership challenge for scouts, requiring scouts to synthesize and use all of their leadership skills learned during their scouting career. To ensure the scout is leading the project, Eagle candidates cannot physically work on their own projects; instead, they must act as the supervisor and leader. Barton reports, “keeping track of everyone” and “making sure they were doing their job correctly” as his principal leadership challenges on the project.

The journey to Eagle rank is a long and hard one, but Scouts receive lots of help along the way. When asked who he would like to thank for helping make his project happen, Barton answered, “I’d like to thank Mr. Chambless for being a very helpful beneficiary, Mr. Pearson and my Father [Kris Pearson and Sean Barton are Troop 436 adult leaders], for lighting a fire under me to finish my paperwork, Mrs. Miller for being a fantastic Eagle advisor [Eagle candidates have the option to choose an adult leader as a guide through the process.], and all of my friends in Troop 436 for keeping me motivated.”

Christopher M. Chambless

A San Benito county native, Chris achieved the Eagle Scout Rank at the age of 15. Now a senior at Dr. T.J. Owens Gilroy Early College Academy (GECA), Chris serves as Vice President of the GECA Politics Club. He helped organize political forums for U.S. Congressional District 20 candidates Casey Lucius and Jimmy Panetta and now works as an intern for the Panetta campaign.