A Pickerington High School Central freshman took another step toward what he hopes will earn him the rank of Eagle Scout by leading a project to build carnival games for a local elementary school.
Thanks in part to camaraderie and the fun of learning new skills, Chase Pratt has been involved in the Cub Scouts and then Boy Scouts since the first grade.
Now, the 15-year-old son of Bill and Barb Pratt is just one badge and a positive review from a Boy Scout Merit Board away from something he's sought almost from the time he joined the organizations: becoming an Eagle Scout.
Pratt, a member of Boy Scout Troop 1147, took another step toward that goal last Friday when he provided eight games to the Sycamore Creek Elementary Carnival.
In addition to two putt-putt courses, Pratt donated games such as a lollipop tree, a wheel of fortune, Plinko and a hulahoop toss featuring Sycamore Creek Elementary mascot Super Sycamore. He envisions they'll be a part of the annual event for years to come.
That marked the culmination of approximately 140 hours of work in which Pratt designed the games and led a crew consisting of fellow Boy Scouts and his father and his sister, Lauren, to construct the games.
"I've always wanted to be an Eagle Scout," Pratt said. "I always thought that would be a good thing to become."
Pratt said he came up with the idea for the games after helping to run games at the Sycamore Creek Elementary Carnival last year.
At that time, he learned carnival organizers had to borrow games each year.
He decided he would build several games which he thought were most popular, and give them to the school to use every year.
"We based our ideas for our games on what they had in the past," Pratt said just before the carnival last Friday, May 17. "I hope the kids all love them.
"I'm hoping the school gets to use them for a very long time," Pratt said. "We built them sturdily."
Pratt received funding for his project, the materials for which cost about $550, through the Sycamore Creek Elementary Parent Teacher Organization.
In addition to gaining the experience of managing a project with multiple people, he said he learned about the importance of comparing prices and business negotiations.
He said he found many of the managers from stores where he purchased game materials were willing to provide him with discounts because of the amount of items he had to buy and because he was performing a community service.
Now, he said, he hopes to relate what he's learned, as well as the benefits of his project, to the merit board so he can reach the rank of Eagle Scout.
"The Eagle Scout is the highest rank you can get in Boy Scouts," he said. "That would mean a lot to me.
"It would be a very big accomplishment for me. Not a lot of people get to that."