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January 16, 2013

Service project earns Eagle Scouts recognition from council

By Sara Kandel
C & G Staff Writer

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Service project earns Eagle Scouts recognition from council
Roseville City Council presented proclamations to twin brothers Paul, right, and William Fry in honor of their earning the rank of Eagle Scout.

ROSEVILLE — The Roseville City Council presented proclamations to two Eagle Scouts at the Jan. 8 regular meeting.

Paul and William Fry, 18-year-old twin brothers, will be recognized for their scouting achievements in a traditional court of honor ceremony next month, but they were approved for the rank in August, upon completion of their service projects at Solid Ground, a now-closed transitional homeless shelter.

Paul Fry’s project was focused on the upstairs library, painting the walls, applying plaster before painting the walls, adding trim, installing carpet, refurbishing a wooden table and donating two beanbag chairs.

“It took me upwards of two weeks to do mine,” Paul Fry said. “We had to put some plaster on the walls, and then we had to let it dry, and the same with the paint, but the table took the longest because you had to sand it down, re-stain it with multiple layers, and the same thing with the polyurethane; you have to put it on it multiple layers.”

Paul Fry technically didn’t have to do any of the labor. The Eagle Scout service project is focused on planning and management. He had to pick a project, submit a plan for approval by a scouting board, gather the funds needed to complete it and manage a team of five to seven workers, who helped him complete the project.

“You’re not supposed to lay a hand on any part of the project,” he explained. “I just had to sit there, take pictures and take notes. It’s not recommended that you touch it at all, even if someone needs help. It’s about managing the project.”

William Fry’s work crew of about 10 Scouts and adults re-mulched the playground, repainted the fence, installed a bike rack, weeded the gardens, and built and painted birdhouses. 

“We started in the early afternoon, and we went to 10 p.m. at night,” William Fry said. “We were constantly working on it so we could just get it done.”

Sadly, less than three months after the boys finished their projects, the shelter was closed due to funding issues. The news was upsetting for the boys, who had spent weeks planning for and finally executing their projects.

“I didn’t want the work to go to waste,” Paul Fry said. “I was worried that, after all the work we did, no one would be able to use it.”

Their mother, Paula Fry, talked to the Solid Ground director Oct. 17, the day the shelter closed.

“She said for the boys not to worry, their work would not go to waste,” Paula Fry said. “(She said) that they had ran out of money and there was no way to keep the place going and they hoped another organization would take over.”

The property has yet to be picked up by another organization, but earlier this month, a teen pregnancy and parenting center expressed interest in it to the Macomb County Board of Commissioners at their Jan. 3 organizational meeting.

“I was a little upset, but then I found out it is not going to be going to waste, and it made me feel better,” William Fry said.

Even though the center is not currently in use, Roseville Mayor John Chirkun stressed to the boys that their work beautifying a property within the city was appreciated by the entire city, saying that he, on behalf of the council, on behalf of the whole city, extends “sincerest appreciation for beautifying a property located in Roseville, which enhances the whole community.”

While the Fry brothers, who graduated from Roseville High School in 2012 and now are studying criminal justice at Saginaw Valley State University, shook hands with council, Chirkun extended his gratitude and admiration for them, and all the Eagle Scouts from Roseville.

“Roseville cranks out a lot of Eagle Scouts, and it is really impressive because not a lot of young men make it to the rank of Eagle Scout,” Chirkun said. “When you go downtown to the headquarters, they have a wall that is filled with Eagle Scouts in the Detroit metropolitan area, and Roseville probably has half of them up there, and I’m proud of them.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Sara Kandel at skandel@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1030.