After starting Cub Scouts in first grade and moving up to Boy Scouts, William Coconato knew his Scouts experience wouldn’t be complete until he received his Eagle Scout – the highest rank in Boy Scouts. And to make sure that happened he recently partnered with MorningStar Lutheran Church for his required Eagle project.
“It’s really what I had been working for since first grade,” William said, adding his mother – a Girl Scout – encouraged him to give Scouting a try. “I wanted to see the whole thing through. I had seen all of the Eagle Scouts previously and their projects. It just seemed like a good goal.”
William, 17, of Mint Hill, is a member of Troop 346, which meets at MorningStar. The church, which is more than 200 years old, wanted help from the Scouts to fix up an old wall on the backside of their cemetery at the chapel, so the Independence High School senior decided to tackle the project.
Recent chapel construction left the rock wall in disrepair and covered with brush and dirt. William didn’t need to add new rocks, only working to clear out everything obstructing the wall and pressure wash the rocks restoring them to their original condition.
“Especially because we meet at the church that owns this property I thought it would be a good way to do something for them,” William said.
Because the wall was already located on the property William says the work was not expensive, and the only thing William and other volunteers who helped him needed was lunch for days where they were working and money to rent a stump grinder. Volunteers who helped with the project provided all other tools needed.
To get the $150 for the few items he did need William asked for donations from local Harris Teeter and Food Lion stores, family members and even received a donation from his orthodontist.
After completing the project in October, William says it added to the many lessons Boy Scouts has taught him over the years, including the most important lesson: to do your best and be prepared for anything in any situation.
“What you do take from it really will help you in every part of your life,” William said. “Like with the Eagle project, I know I can do any project or anything that is put in front of me now.”
William isn’t sure where he will be attending school next year, but he does plan to come back to help his troop. And William encourages others to join the Boy Scouts. William earned 33 badges as a Scout, his favorite being his white water rafting badge he received after a trip to the Green River.
“It was so much fun going down the rapids. I was the only one who could get the kayak up (by myself) after being flipped,” he said.
William will officially become an Eagle Scout during a ceremony Sunday, March 10 at MorningStar Lutheran Church, 12509 Idlewild Road in Mint Hill.