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Santa Clara Scout Nick Morris Achieves Rank of the Eagle

In May 2022, when Nick Morris, now 18, was a high school sophomore, he led 20 volunteers to rebuild 14 picnic tables for YMCA Camp Campbell in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Because of this achievement, Morris, a member of Scouts BSA in Troop 394, earned the rank of the Eagle.

Morris’s family, scout leaders, church mentors and former nannies attended his March 17 BSA Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony at the Elks Lodge of Sunnyvale. Santa Clara City Council Member Kathy Watanabe presented a certificate to Morris for his work.

“I have been going to Camp Campbell ever since I was a little kid,” said Morris, a Santa Clara resident. “When I found out Camp Campbell was underfunded and understaffed and they were having trouble with their picnic tables that were falling apart, I wanted to help.”

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According to Morris, the bolts on the old tables were rusting and the wood was rotting.

“I started to work with Jill Gary from YMCA,” Morris said. “I had to figure out how many boards to use per table as well as how many of the bolts were rusting. The metal framework of the tables were also in poor condition. I had to figure out which boards to replace. Some tables only needed a few boards to be replaced. Some other tables, we had to rebuild entirely. Some tables were only left with a metal framework. Figuring out what needed to be replaced was difficult.

“We also faced challenges on the day of,” Morris said. “When we tried to remove some of the bolts, we were not able to just unscrew them and pull them out because the wood was so rotten that the bolts were stuck in there. We ended up cutting the wood in half on the benches and lifting them up and getting the bolt cutter underneath the board to remove the planks. We had to repaint every wooden plank.”

According to Morris, once the new boards were attached, he and his team had to make sure they were the right length, paint them and add numbers to the tables.

“It was fairly simple to make a couple of tables handicap accessible,” Morris said. “After looking through the ADA guidelines, I decided that simply making the table longer would allow a wheelchair to fit in the space. Previously, the metal framework on the edge of a table would block someone with a wheelchair. But a longer table solves the problem. We extended the wood on the tables but not the benches.”

The 20 volunteers who worked with Morris were a combination of his friends from Santa Clara High School, fellow Boy Scouts from BSA Troop 394 and friends who are also Boy Scouts from other troops.

“We did this over one weekend,” Morris said. “Camp Campbell let us stay at their facilities and have meals in their dining hall. We also made it fun by having campfires at night and playing gaga ball to make this a group bonding activity with recreational time too.”

According to Morris, he will “most likely” study Business Analytics in college. He was just accepted to Purdue University.

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3 Comments
  1. Buchser Alum 4 weeks ago
    Reply

    Congratulations to Nick and thank you for writing and publishing a piece on the young man’s impressive achievement.

  2. ray crump 4 weeks ago
    Reply

    As a former scout in Palo Alto in 1950s I know a good scout when I see stories like this…. congrats for your terrific effort!!!

  3. W.S. 4 weeks ago
    Reply

    Congratulations to Nick. He has truly demonstrated his community involvement and strong work ethic. Coordinating all of the labor and material requirements took effort on his part. His efforts are clearly displayed in the rebuilt picnic tables that should provide many years of use. He should be very proud of what he and those helping with the project were able to accomplish. He has provided an excellent example of what can be accomplished when something needs to be fixed and it gets done. Great job!

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