WAXAHACHIE — Service, leadership, obedience and bravery are all qualities that a young man strives to possess once taking the oath to become a boy scout. A scout must use those qualities to earn the 21 merit badges required to obtain the highest, most honorable rank among Boy Scouts, becoming an Eagle Scout.

However, to become an Eagle Scout, one must create a project that demonstrates and reflects the qualities they tied themselves to taking the oath.

WHS sophomore, Bonham Burks — who has been a boy scout since he was in fifth grade — completed his Eagle Project Sunday, Aug. 28.

“I’ve wanted to be an Eagle Scout since I was a little boy,” Burks said.

Since joining Troop 232 five years ago, Burks has pondered the idea of what he should do for his project. Burks noted that he wanted his project to be meaningful and useful to the Waxahachie community.

“During a recent conversation with his grandparents, Mike and Kay Leath, Bonham learned that they had always longed for a bench in their neighborhood Chapman Park,” his mother, Michelle Burks said.

Kay Leath recalled taking Burks and his cousins to Chapman Park to play and never having a place to sit near the playground.

After talking with his grandparents, Burks said he immediately knew the answer to his five-year-old question.

“Since Chapman Park is a special place to me too, we decided to proceed with the project. My first step was to get the idea approved by my Scout Master. After receiving approval I met with our City Manager Paul Stevens and the Director of Parks & Rec John Smith,” Burks said.

Steven and Smith were more the supportive of the proposal.

“We worked together to choose a bench and determine the proper way to install it,” Burks said.

With the help of his father who also happens to be an Eagle Scout, Brian Burks, and friend Jordan Jeffcoat, they began their six-hour long project.

“We dug the holes needed for the bench, mixed and poured the concrete for installation. After letting the concrete cure, we came back to spread the mulch,” Burks said.

Burks mentioned he gained many skills throughout Boy Scouts, as well as with his Eagle Scout project.

“Teamwork is one of the most important skills in life and honesty is the key to living a good and successful life,” Burks said.

He is in now just weeks away from completing the requirements to earn the Eagle Scout rank.

“I’m glad that I chose this project, and I hope that it will provide a comfortable place for parents and grandparents to watch their kids play. I learned that kids can actually make a positive contribution to their communities, and oftentimes the local government is glad to help them achieve their goals,” Burks said.

Burks is pleased with his choice of the service project.

“I dedicated the bench to my grandparents, Grammy and T-Paw because I have such happy memories of them taking me here to play, and I hope that this bench will give lots of parents and grandparents a comfy place to sit while their kids play” Burks concluded.

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Kelsey Poynor, @KPoynor_WDL

(469) 517-1454