By Kathy Brown.
Killingworth Scouts BSA Troop #18 has gained another Eagle Scout. Jackson Pitts, a Senior at Haddam Killingworth High School, completed his Eagle project, a gaga pit, last summer/fall, but his Board of Review was postponed because of COVID-19.
To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, a Scout must earn 21 merit badges, 13 of which are “Eagle required” (such as First Aid, Personal Fitness, Citizenship in the World), plus eight more merit badges of their own choosing. They are also required to manage an Eagle project, which requires planning, managing work crews, and often raising funds and having to interface with an organization or town to get permission to do the project.
While involved with Scouts, Jackson participated in the troop’s annual 50 mile hike on Vermont’s Long Trail, along with a 100 mile canoe trip in Maine. He held the leadership position of Senior Patrol Leader, as well as patrol leader.
Jackson earned his Eagle Scout rank, as well as one Palm (this is achieved by earning an extra five merit badges — for each Palm — beyond the ones required for Eagle Scout rank).
Jackson’s project was building a gaga pit at the Erik W. Auer Killingworth Recreational Park (KRP). For those not familiar with the game of “gaga,” it is played in a wooden structure with a ball, sort of like soccer where you get other players “out” by making the ball touch them below the knee until there is only one player left.
“The physical construction of the project only took three weekends,” explained Jackson,” but the difficult part of the project was organizing the design, approval, and execution process. There were a lot of town meetings involved and many different people from whom I had to gain input, approval and support, along with getting the fundraising required to pay for the materials.”
Jackson is busy outside of Scouts as well. He throws for HKHS Track & Field, and plays on the HKHS Football team (which was canceled this year due to COVID). He loves the outdoors, including biking, hiking, boating, swimming, and riding his dirt bike. And he is restoring his 1989 Ford truck, including swapping out the engine by himself.
“I witnessed Jack, first hand, turn from a young boy into a man as a result of this [Eagle] project,” said Paul Pitts, Jackson’s father and Scoutmaster. “It kick-started the next phase of his life, building the request, communication, planning and project skills to set him up for the future.”
Because of COVID-19, his Eagle ceremony has been postponed. Congratulations Jackson!
Photos provided by Paul and Jackson Pitts.