The Eagle Scout Award is the highest rank within the Boy Scouts of America and likely its most recognizable icon. Achieving the award is dependent on the fulfillment of numerous individual goals but the primary requirement is the Eagle Scout Service Project. Officially listed as Eagle Scout Requirement #5, the task is to “Plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project”. Aspiring Eagle Scouts are encouraged to meet with their unit leaders, teachers, advisors, and community leaders to find a project “that requires leadership, but also something that you can do with unskilled helpers, and within a reasonable period of time.” Over 2 million Eagle Service Projects have been completed yet each benefits a community in a unique manner.
Khai Lemmon of Hillsboro, Oregon found his Requirement #5 in a project benefiting Cycle Oregon. Through conversations with Randy Carlton, a Troop 615 adult leader and longtime Cycle Oregon volunteer, Khai connected with Cycle Oregon Executive Director Steve Schulz and together they developed a volunteer service project.
Smoke from wildfires in 2020 damaged over 1200 of the folding chairs we use in camp for our events. While still functional, the chairs held a strong smoke odor that would be far too unpleasant for riders trying to relax after a long day in the saddle. It seemed wasteful to discard the chairs (and expensive!) so the plan was for Khai to lead a team of volunteers in a comprehensive cleaning project to restore the chairs to good use. Khai began planning in February 2021, working with his Eagle Mentor, John Mudd, and Steve on how they would organize the project and coordinate Troop 615 and Cycle Oregon volunteers. In June, Khai led the project team and returned a large number of our chairs to use for future events. In a note to thank volunteers, Khai shared the remarkable numbers behind the project’s success:
I would like to thank you all again for participating in my Eagle project and supporting Cycle Oregon. Both crews on June 18th and 19th worked incredibly hard. For those who didn’t hear the final numbers of what we accomplished during those two days, here they are:
June 18, 2021
- 1269 chairs moved out of the shed
- 447 chairs washed
- 186 chairs found to be broken
- 242 chairs restacked
June 19, 2021
- 622 chairs washed
- 14 chairs found to be broken
- 827 chairs restacked
1269 total chairs were processed. Once again, thank you all for helping with my project, I can’t express my gratitude enough.
Regards, Khai Lemmon
Cycle Oregon: What appealed to you about this project with Cycle Oregon to make it your Eagle Scout Service Project?
Khai: Two of the larger parts of an Eagle Scout project are to demonstrate your leadership skills and to have a positive impact on the community. Leading volunteers to clean and process over 1000 chairs sounded like a test to both of these criteria. While 1000 chairs sounded like it would be a lot to do, it also sounded completely doable. The purpose of this project, and all my other volunteering experiences with the BSA, was to help.
Cycle Oregon: Once you began the work, what was it like?
Khai: This was a two-day project with long hours in less-than-pleasant weather yet both volunteer crews were exceptional. The mix of Cycle Oregon volunteers and Troop 615 made for interesting encounters and an all around enjoyable time.
Cycle Oregon: Where are you in the process of achieving the rank of Eagle Scout?
Khai: I am very close to completion but have yet to earn my Eagle; the Cycle Oregon project is a big part of working towards that goal. I did extensive planning in the Eagle Scout workbook with lots of guidance from my Eagle Mentor, John Mudd. Scouting, especially guidance from Troop 615, has shown me how to be kind, patient, understanding and it’s taught me how to strive to be an upstanding member of society.
Cycle Oregon: Where do you like to ride your bike?
Khai: I ride my bike mainly around Hillsboro and Tanasbourne though I think my favorite place in Oregon would be the Tillamook Forest. I have not seen a lot of eastern or southern Oregon so that’s certainly somewhere I would like to take a look at visiting soon.
Cycle Oregon: Thank you, Khai, Randy, and John and thank you to the volunteers from Cycle Oregon and Troop 615 who supported him.