What started as a hobby for Joseph Johnson ended up blossoming into a project to improve the costume room at Sampson Community Theatre and earn him the highest honor awarded to Boy Scouts.
Johnson said that he participated in plays at the theater, and once he saw those rooms, he knew he had to do something to get it organized and neat. Johnson then decided that this was going to be his Eagle Scout project.
“There were costumes everywhere,” said Johnson in an interview earlier in the week. Costumes had been used and tossed to the floor, and the disarray made it hard to get what you needed.
“Nothing was organized,” he added. “Everything was everywhere.” Piles were all over the rooms and no one had bothered to hang costumes up.
“We took it all and sorted everything, and threw away what they didn’t want,” Johnson detailed. He and his team of 11 helpers worked on getting it ready, going through everything from shoes to hats, he said, going as far as to make sure the area was vacuumed as well.
“Some items were put in clothing protectors,” he explained. The task took a lot of work, and Johnson pulled from his friends to get the support to accomplish the project, with him leading the way. Some of them were Scouting friends and adults, and he said his mom helped out by running a few errands for them as well.
“There were hundreds of costumes, a couple of feet deep of costumes in one room,” Johnson explained. There were three room in the costume area, and they already had racks set up. He said that they used a lot of hanging bags and even had some left over for new items.
“I first contacted Linda Carr to get keys and permission,” he said. “I also contacted Scout leaders and made sure that it would pass review.” After coordinating with a few others, like his mom, and making sure he had enough workers, he was able to sum up everything and see if he had everything he would need to do his project.
“My Eagle Scout proposal was presented in Warsaw before a board,” Johnson said. He had to show sign offs for all the people that he talked to, and then he was able to come back and make that final plan. He paid for some of the roject out of his own money, with savings that he had from the summer and donations from family. The project was not terribly expensive, but it still had a cost — his time.
“It was very time consuming,” he mentioned. After the cleanup he said that he got home and completed his Eagle Scout project report.
“I had to explain how I showed leadership, and put it all into the project report,” he explained. His final presentation was in February, and during the Eagle Scout review in Warsaw the board asked him questions about his project, which was on Nov. 9, 2013.
Originally he had prepared to give his presentation in March but it was moved forward to February, he said.
“I only knew a week before,” he explained. He said that he was nervous about it but he studied up on what he need to know. “It was one of the most relaxed board reviews I have been to.”
“They were there to be helpful but still make sure that I knew what I was supposed to know,” Johnson detailed. “They wanted to make sure I was ready to be an Eagle Scout.”
Johnson is a member of Tuscarora Troop 27.
Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.