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Eagle scout fills his teachers’ buckets on opening day through service project
Eagle scout fills teachers’ buckets on opening day through service project
Posted on 09/14/2021
Peter Wathen in scout uniform with buck of suppliesEach year, UCS teachers work hard to make sure that students are welcomed back to school in a positive way. This year, senior Peter Wathen wanted to return the favor.

Wathen, a Gene L. Klida Utica Academy for International Studies senior, used his Eagle Scout service project to raise funds for “buckets” containing school supplies and special treats as a way to surprise teachers at the start the new year. 

And he brought volunteers from two school communities along with him. 

“It shows how the communities can come together and that they want to help out people who help students,” he said.  “I wanted to help the teachers out a bit and bring some happiness to the beginning of the school year.”

Wathen presented the 59 buckets of supplies to teachers in his school building – Heritage Junior High School and GLK-UAIS – on the opening morning of their first Staff Development Day. 

“I was so impressed by how much thought and care he put into making this really special for our staff,” Principal Shaun Greene-Beebe said. “The teachers couldn’t say enough about how much they appreciated his efforts and we are forever grateful.” 

Wethan raised $4,359 though a bottle drive over two days this summer to purchase the baskets and the supplies. 

He was joined by volunteers from GLK-UAIS as well as members from Scout Troop 154 in Sterling Heights, where he serves Junior Assistant Scoutmaster.

Each basket contained materials personalized with school and district logos, such as Heritage notebooks, GLK-UAIS water bottle and a UCS pencil holder. More than 30 supply items include notebooks, paper supplies, pens and pencils, highlighters and special treats, such as granola bars and mints. 

“This was a huge task,” Greene-Beebe said. “He was so diligent and organized, providing regular updates and details about the progress of the project and he assembled a great team to help him complete the project and deliver the bags.  The final product exceeded my expectations!”

Wathen said he used required service projects to support both his Scout troop and school. At GLK-UAIS, Wethan used his Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) project to provide leadership training to scout members. He then fulfilled his required Eagle service project to support teachers at Heritage Junior High School and GLK-UAIS, which are housed at the same building. 

“Both groups have helped me grow as a person and a student, and service I learned in Scouts helped me be more prepared coming in as a freshmen to this program,” he said.