Runnels | Independent School, Baton Rouge


Eagle Scout Service Project Benefits Runnels Campus


In August, Chris Yura, a junior at Runnels, took a giant step forward on his journey to become an Eagle Scout. He completed his Eagle Service Project by planning the design, arranging the construction, and overseeing the installation of two beautiful cedar cedar gates to close off the service area next to the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre. 
To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest attainable in American Boy Scouting, candidates must tick a lot of boxes. They have to earn at least 21 merit badges, serve actively in the troop in six different positions of responsibility in a prescribed amount of time, pass a board of review, and demonstrate leadership and organizational skills by successfully completing a service project to benefit the community. All of it except passing the board of review must be done before the scout's 18th birthday. It's a major undertaking. Less than five percent of all scouts become Eagles.
Because Chris, who has been in scouting for 11 years, wanted his project to benefit our school, he met with Assistant Head of SchooJr./Sr. High Principal Conchetta Foshee and members of her staff to come up with a plan. After going over proposals, he decided to organize the project to build and install the two gates.
He worked with contractor Charles Scott of Scott Fencing for the planning and building phases of the project. "I drew mock-ups of the plan and brought pictures of the area where the gate would be," Chris explained. Scott Fencing built the gates and donated them to our school. "It cost over $2,000," Chris said. 
On Aug. 3, the construction part of the project got underway at Runnels. Chris supervised as eight members of his troop, two friends, and several adults including his parents, grandfather and troop leaders installed and stained the six-foot tall set of gates. Participating from Runnels were Cole Latiolais, Eli Latiolais, John Spillane, and Stuart Roark. Leading his scout troop are Chad Harper, Lee Meeks and Ron Miller. 
Chris, who plans to study animation or special effects when he gets to college, will be the first one to tell you the process was not flawless. "The first contractor didn't work out," he said, "and one gate was a little small, in spite of all the measuring." He said he learned not to expect everything to work out the first time around. "Even if you do everything right, something will go wrong. You have to keep pushing forward." 
Chris said he appreciates Runnels and was glad to be able to do something for his school. He is the son of Brooke and Thomas Yura.