Timber Creek High School student working hard to earn Eagle Scout status

Boy Scout constructs healthy possibilities for philadelphia students

Volunteer Jeff Allen Jr., left, offers instructions to a young volunteer at Robert Morris Elementary School in North Philadelphia, Saturday May 4, during Comcast Cares Day. (Special to The Sun)

The Comcast Cares Day initiative has been a success in the Philadelphia and New Jersey area for the past 18 years. The work done by Jeffrey Allen Jr., a Boy Scout from Troop 184, is just the latest example.

Allen, a junior from Timber Creek High School, gifted students at Robert Morris Elementary School in Philadelphia with mobile planter boxes to help them learn about tending to a garden and getting to enjoy what they’ve grown.

This project was one big step on the road for Allen becoming a full-fledged Eagle Scout. He believes the recognition associated with Eagle Scout is “unparalleled“ and he looks forward to being bestowed their honor and what it means for his future.

“I wanted to join the Boy Scouts because I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself that I will be able to look back on when I’m done,” he said.

Allen has been a part of the Boy Scouts since he was 8 years old.

“Everything in the Scouting program leads up to Eagle, but the project is what really makes or breaks you from getting Eagle” said Allen.

“We planted eight disposable planter boxes at the Robert Morris Elementary School. We cut down the wood, we built them and then we assembled them at the school. We filled them with soil and planted some vegetation for the school,” Allen said, describing the process.

The boxes are roughly three-feet by two-feet. He chose to do it because he wanted to give the students in the city the opportunity to enjoy fruits and vegetables.

“The kids that are in the inner city don’t really have access to open areas of land to garden because there’s a lot of row homes and connected houses. So we moved the gardens outside their classrooms or wherever it is convenient in their school,” said Allen.

Allen came up with the idea with help from his parents and his technology and engineering teacher, Mike Smith. He submitted it to Comcast Cares Day, and it was on board to help.

Although Allen did not personally look into how the boxes would impact the environment, he does believe they will be beneficial for the school.

“I think the atmosphere of the school will definitely change,” he said. “It’s a new experience for the kids that are going there. They are elementary-age school kids who may not be open to eating vegetables or fruits or anything, but now they will be more adapt to doing so because it’s something they grew, something they made with their hands.”