Following in the footsteps of multiple family members, Garrett Matheson was finally able to celebrate his Eagle Scout achievement in person.
Matheson officially completed all of the requirements for his Eagle Scout service project (and his Winters High School Senior Capstone project) on Aug. 30, 2020. He earned his Eagle Scout rank on Oct. 7, 2020. However, due to the limitations and challenges of the pandemic, he wasn’t able to participate in the official Eagle court of honor ceremony until Aug. 28.
“I’ve been in the program since first grade. I started off as a tiger and worked my way up,” Matheson said. “I changed groups a couple of times because troops folded. I was in three different troops. It meant a lot to see it through.”
Matheson said he has many family members who have achieved the Eagle Scout honor and it held a meaningful notion for him. His older brother Alec, grandfather, great-uncle and two of his cousins are all Eagle Scouts.
His final project was constructing two six-foot-tall Resource Center structures for Community Presbyterian Church in Vacaville, where his family attends. He said he noticed the Presbyterian Enrichment Preschool program could use something to help communicate to families and churchgoers. After talking the idea over with his pastor, he decided to move ahead with it.
The structure contained a whiteboard for announcements, shelving units for pamphlets and fliers, books and a drop-off box for forms.
“My intentions were to build one for the preschool program and one for Church Program Outreach,” Matheson said.
The road to completing his service project/senior capstone was not easy. The pandemic caused many issues where he was unable to have his troop members fully participate outside of a car wash fundraiser.
“You’re supposed to have your troop involved to help provide community service hours. I’m in charge of teaching them new skills,” Matheson explained. “I had to do the whole thing with my dad, and he was more my mentor. He showed me how to use the tools, how to
construct them, and how to stain them. I had never built anything like this out of wood.”
Additionally, smoke from the LNU fire and triple-digit temperatures caused unideal working conditions outside where he was busy constructing his project. Matheson said due to the extreme heat he had to restart the staining process of few times because the stain was not keeping.
With his deadline of needing to get the project done before his 18th birthday in September — in alignment with when all scouts need to complete their Eagle service project — Matheson was able to complete the construction of both resource centers in time.
To current seniors and scouts who are trying to complete their service projects, Matheson encourages them to get it knocked out sooner than later.
“It’s a big project and it requires a lot of hours,” Matheson said. “Don’t put your project off and put it on the back burner. Be aware of dates and timelines. Get others involved in your project with enough notice.”