While the world was beginning to shut down due to COVID-19, Zachary Seltzer was diligently working on his Eagle Scout project, an information board at the East Branch Dam.
After a decade in scouting, Seltzer was excited to be so close to completing the project that would earn him his Eagle Scout award.
The road to Eagle Scout hadn’t been a smooth one. Seltzer originally planned another project. After drawing up plans, and presenting the idea, his project fell through due to regulations on the land.
This would not be the last challenge he would face though. Boy Scouts must complete an Eagle Scout project by their 18th birthday in most cases.
Time was ticking, and Seltzer had to find a new project, draw up plans, provide another presentation and get the new project approved by both the Army Corps of Engineers and the Boy Scouts of America.
“I choose to make an information board for the East Branch Dam because of my love for parks,” Seltzer said. Once the plans were in place, Seltzer needed to wait for the spring weather to arrive to begin the outdoor project.
But before the spring weather arrived, COVID-19 caused schools, businesses and churches to shut down. Seltzer said the COVID-19 shutdown became his biggest challenge in his journey to Eagle Scout.
Unfortunately, the shutdown meant Seltzer would not be permitted to work on the project on the state park land until the closures were lifted.
Seltzer, whose birthday is in April, now had another issue he had to overcome to complete the project. Due to the closure, he would not be permitted to work on the project until after his 18th birthday.
Any of these obstacles could have deterred Seltzer and led to the Eagle Scout project not being completed, but Seltzer persisted. Because the COVID-19 shut down was beyond his control, he was able to get an extension from the Boy Scouts to complete his project once the shutdown guidelines were lifted and he was able to work on the project at the park.
In June of 2020, Seltzer was permitted to work on the project. With the help of his fellow scouts in Troop 199 and several adult volunteers, Seltzer was able to complete the project June 19, 2020.
Due to the continuing social distancing guidelines, the presentation of the Eagle Scout Award also needed to be delayed. Seltzer will officially be presented with his Eagle Scout award July 25 at the Troop 199 Court of Honor.
Having achieved his Eagle Scout Award, Seltzer has this advice for scouts working on this endeavor, “Don’t procrastinate, be clear in your communication, failure is never the end and persistence will help you to get back up,” Seltzer said.