When Jared Trembley began considering projects to become Eagle Scout, it didn’t take long for him to decide he wanted to help his childhood school and junior high.
    After attending Pontiac Christian School from kindergarten through eighth grade, Trembley, 16, a scout with Boy Scouts of America Troop 1870 of Fairbury, said he felt he had a pretty good idea of what he could work on.
    “I thought of the picnic tables because the old ones were always really bulky and hard to sit on.  So, I thought it would make a good Eagle project,” Trembley said. “My initial plan was to just fix the old tables, but as I started working at it, I quickly realized it would be important to build new tables.
    “In order to build new tables, I knew it would require some donations, so I went around to local hardware stores, asking if anyone could donate some materials, like lumber. In total, it was a $600 project.”
    According to the official Boy Scouts of America website, the Eagle Scout rank has been around since 1912, when Arthur Eldred became the first Eagle Scout. Since that time, a formal application process has evolved to aid scouts, parents and scout leaders in obtaining National Council approval and verification.
    Part of this process includes, “planning, developing and giving leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or the community,” according to the website.
    For Trembley, the most important aspect of receiving the Eagle Scout rank is the benefit of adding the achievement to his resume.
    “I believe it shows that the person has leadership skills and is good at prioritizing tasks,” Trembley said. “I hope that when employers see it, they recognize that I can work hard, know how to plan for something and how to lead people.”
    Trembley credits his parents, Jennifer and Geoff Trembly, with giving him the idea to join scouting. He said, initially, all of his friends were already in it, so when his parents encouraged Trembley to be a part of it, he agreed. Nine years later, he is on the cusp of attaining scouting’s highest honor.
    “I didn’t quite understand why they thought it was so important at first,” Trembley admits. “The more I participated, the more I learned how to be a leader and how to improve myself.”
    The project was completed over two work days. On Good Friday, April 14, Trembley organized a group of about a dozen volunteers on various sanding and staining procedures for the wood for about four hours. Then, on April 17, Trembley and some volunteers returned to assemble the tables.
    “It wasn’t hard for me to take on leading. I’m an older scout in my troop, so I am somewhat used to leading younger scouts,” Trembley said. “However, it was hard telling adults I respect, like my dad, what to do. I just had to make myself realize that this is my project and it has to get done.”
    During the building day, Trembley said the hardest aspect was managing all the volunteers. As people began to get tired, Trembley said they started doing the work at their own pace, instead of focusing on being productive and efficient.
    “I felt like I had to be two places at once, because some people were working inside and others were outside,” Trembley said. “It takes a lot of determination to see a project from start to completion. When I come back and see the tables outside in the future, it will remind me that I worked hard to help make this happen.”
    Although the Eagle Project is completed, Trembley said he still has a lot of paperwork to do, in order to be considered for the Eagle Scout rank. According to “Bryan on Scouting,” a blog for BSA’s Adult Leaders, “1,739 young men became Eagle Scouts in Illinois in 2016.”
    “It’s very hard to pursue the rank of Eagle Scout,” Trembley said. “It’s a six-month process that most people never complete, they just age out and never make Eagle Scout.
    “The Eagle Scout project is like the test, it gives you the preparation, which is the hard work. The project itself isn’t as hard as all of the paper work afterwards and before.”