The two college students are now able to call themselves ‘Eagle Scouts’ following their achievements
By KRYSTAL NURSE
First-year college students Evan Carr and Matthew Harbaugh are ready to officially receive their Eagle Scout badges this year.
Carr created a meet-and-play area at the Gloucester County Animal Shelter in Clayton for families to interact with their prospective new pets. He said he and 14 volunteers built a sizeable gravel area and then installed two benches the shelter requested in February of 2018.
“I felt that I could do more, so we also put in two new bird feeders and installed a bird bath,” said Carr.
Harbaugh constructed a memorial garden, surrounding the flagpole, in front of the township’s Municipal Building to honor veterans and first responders. The garden includes a retaining wall, plaques for fire/EMS and the five branches of service, and three statues of a female Army soldier, male Marine and a police officer with a K-9 partner.
“I put in a stone walkway that leads from the outside, inwards to the flagpole, so that one can lower, raise or change the flag,” he said. “I also put lights around the memorial, so that even at night, inhabitants of Mullica Hill, or anyone driving through, can see and honor those. In addition, I assembled and placed park benches on both sides of the memorial so that people could sit and reflect.”
Harbaugh said he came up with his project after noticing the township didn’t have many memorials honoring those who served and received additional help from former Mayor Dennis Clowney and Township Administrator Mark Gravinese. He put two months of work into the project with a total of 738 hours of work, with the help of nearly 50 volunteers.
Carr said he “always knew he wanted to do something with animals for his project” and visited various shelters until finding GCAS. He added his project took several months to plan and complete with over 100 hours of work. His biggest issue was snowstorms.
Carr added he joined the Boy Scouts when he was in elementary school and wanted to join with his friends. Matt joined when he was 5 years old after his older brother, Randy — who is also an Eagle Scout — joined.
With the two being in college, their, Scoutmaster, Dave Tinney said they’re still able to obtain the rank after completing the requirements before their 18 birthdays, but their families wanted to wait for Harbaugh to get his status so they could have an Eagle Court of Honor, when their badges are officially handed out, with one another.
“As long as you have all of your paperwork done and things are signed off, you can physically receive the badge after you turn 18, but everything like paperwork, merit badges, the project, Scoutmasters conference and board of review must be done by the time they’re 18,” added Tinney.
Carr and Harbaugh said since completing their Scout projects and earning Eagle status, they’ve been able to transfer their learned skills to college to help discipline themselves on making sure they have things before departing their dorms, completing necessary coursework and providing them with public speaking skills.