The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

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  • February 20FCHS will be offering the ASVAB test to interested sophomores, juniors, and seniors. For details, please email [email protected]
  • February 20The FCHS Music Department is hosting a "Night at the Movies" Concert at 6pm on Thurs. Feb. 22. Tickets are $5. See Ms. Harkrader in room 1517 for details.
  • February 19The FCHS Library will be hosting a Read-A-Thon on Thurs. March 7. It is $1 per 30 minute block or $10 for the entire day. Funds go to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.
  • January 20Juniors and seniors taking the SAT in March should check their email for information and a calendar invite from Ms. Blevins. Email [email protected] with questions.
The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

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A Bridge Built By A Bridge

Becoming an Eagle Scout is a difficult achievement to accomplish, but senior Hayden Bridge can claim that honor. In order to obtain this rank within Boy Scouts of America (BSA), you have to complete a number of requirements, one being to “complete a comprehensive service project in the community,” according to the Atlanta Area Council. Bridge reached this final requirement by constructing the second student-built bridge for The Woodlands.

The Woodlands is located on Fluvanna County High School’s property near the bus ramp. It includes five trails and an outdoor classroom that is open to the public after school Monday through Friday, and open from dawn until dusk on Saturdays and Sundays. The total distance of all the trails combined is two and a half miles long.

The requirements to obtain Eagle Scout include being active in your troop for six months as a Life Scout (the level just below Eagle Scout), to earn a total of 21 merit badges, and, as a Life Scout, plan and develop a community service project for a religious institution, a school, or your community.

Bridge came up with the idea of the project through the assistance of David Small, the TV Production teacher and SGA mentor at FCHS. SGA has many different service projects available for students, including building steps, bridges, and a railing for The Woodlands. Bridge contacted a 2023 FCHS graduate, Aden Melton, who had built the previous bridge in The Woodlands as a Blueridge project, for guidance on how to go about this service project.

It took Bridge’s team of twelve, a mixture of troop members, adult leaders, scouts, and his family, about a week to plan and acquire materials, and then about seven hours to actually build the bridge. They used Carpentry teacher Paul Chirico’s woodworking tools to cut the wood, then hauled it to the site location and set to work on assembling the pieces. Bridge secured funding through donations from SGA and Ace Hardware.

Bridge first got into Boy Scouts in first grade as a Cub Scout, and bonded with a community of boys his age. He has since spent ten years in the troop developing skills.

“The real reason is because my mom forced me to, but as I matured and got more into it, I really found a place there. There was something always to look forward to and it kind of helped me develop into the person I am now. That’s why I stuck around,” Bridge said.

One of the difficulties that he faced trying to meet the Eagle Scout requirements, but then developed into a skill, was time management. When you join Boy Scouts at the age of six or seven you have a limited amount of time within the troop. Bridge said that you have until you turn 18 to rise up through the ranks and enjoy your time experiencing the community.

“Time management is one of those lessons you learn that will help you for your entire life. It’s why I struggled to nail down a project early on. I think scouting has a lot of lessons that teach you how to manage it. I think everyone should be involved in scouting, at least a little bit, as a volunteer because it teaches you lessons you are going to use your whole life,” he said.

He initially struggled with securing a project because the one he originally was focused on fell through. He then spent a few weeks searching for a new project and then ended up talking to Small.

Reaching the Eagle Scout Rank is difficult and only around 6% of scouts reach the rank. Although it is difficult and requires years of dedication, being an Eagle Scout provides many future benefits such as respect and trust from colleges and future employers, as well as potential scholarships from the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA). The average time it takes a scout to reach the rank of Eagle Scout is around 4-6 years of activity in a troop.

“It’s one of those things where you work on it for years without realizing it,” Bridge said, “There’s a lot of requirements that you knock out just for being active in the troop. But the final steps, like the project and the required merit badges, are very difficult. To lock down my project, it took me over a year. I was searching for it in multiple different places. I even found one, but it was canceled by my beneficiary. It was restoring a cemetery near the Tractor Supply. It’s a very difficult achievement, but if you put your mind to it, it’s just like anything else,” he added.

The final step for an Eagle Scout is to plan one’s Eagle Court of Honor ceremony. The ceremony commemorates the time spent within the troop through a few presentations, and then the scout is presented with the official Eagle Scout Badge.

“After you officially send your application to the main organization, you can start planning your Eagle Court of Honor and that alone takes months. Fortunately you can do that after you turn 18,” he said.

Saying goodbye to something you have been a part of for as long as you remember can be difficult because of the change you have to go through. Bridge feels that leaving his scout troop is bittersweet because he’s saying goodbye to one thing, but he will go on to do something else he might be interested in.

“Once you hit 18, you’re done. It’s unfortunate that it’s something that you’ve been a part of your whole life, but suddenly one day you’re just gone. I’ve always kind of disagreed with the process of that, aging out when you hit 18. I think they should adopt the Girl Scouts way of doing it where you age out during graduation,” Bridge said. He noted that he has already been to his last camping trip as a scout.

“You kind of don’t realize it happens until you go to your last meeting, last camping trip, last service project. It’s like this is the last time you’re ever going to do this,” he said.



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