Oakdale High School senior Garrett Paulus cites perseverance as one of his greatest lessons learned since becoming a Boy Scout when he was in the fifth grade.
The 18-year-old completed his Eagle Scout project in late fall. A Court of Honor ceremony presenting the senior with his Eagle Scout recognition was hosted in late February at St. Mary’s Parish Center. During this ceremony he also presented mentor pins to three influential adults, including OHS teacher Pete Simoncini.
“There’s no set way to do it,” Paulus said of selecting one of the school’s most loved instructors for the honor. “He’s been my teacher the last couple of years. I’ve gotten to know him pretty well. He’s always ready to help and I really appreciate that.”
Paulus sought guidance from St. Mary’s Church Priest, Father Richard Morse, for help determining what he might do for the church site as part of his required Eagle Scout project. The two decided upon a clean-up of the courtyard area between the church and rectory.
A significant amount of ivy needed to be cleared, as well as leveling dirt, placing gravel and step stones. Paulus managed a team of approximately 30 volunteers to bring the project to life.
“Everything went pretty smoothly,” the Eagle Scout stated. “I really learned time management. It taught me how to lead others really well.”
Prior to the clean-up and installation, the student also secured donations, resourced supplies and set the schedule for the day of events. The project required close to one full day of manpower to complete.
“It took a lot of planning before that,” he said of coordinating volunteers, as well as planning the project from start to finish.
Paulus began his scouting career in first grade, as a Cub Scout. He took a year break once but later advanced to Boy Scouts and returned in the fifth grade.
“That really taught me about perseverance and sticking with things,” he said about returning to the group after his break.
“It’s had a huge impact on my life,” Paulus added of being a scout. “Most of the things I have learned from my scouting career have prepared me for life. Once I came back, I was determined to finish what I started.”