Eagle Scout project is sidewalk

First Posted: 1/9/2015

LIMA — Fort Jennings sophomore Michael Fields doesn’t exactly have too much time to relax. Not that he minds. He doesn’t like just sitting around in front of the TV.

When he does have time to himself, he might spend it reading his favorite series, “Harry Potter,” or playing video games. Otherwise, his days are spent at school followed by homework and the activity of the day, be it varsity soccer, scholastic bowl or pep band practice, musical rehearsals, Boy Scouts or youth group meetings, volunteering at church or working on student council … just to name a few.

Of course, he’s on the honor roll too.

“He takes pride in everything he does,” said Kelly Fields, Michael’s mom. “He’s just an all around good kid.”

Though the list may look like a typical 15-year-old’s itinerary, Michael’s latest endeavor, involving the town, school board and Mayor James Smith, isn’t on most college applications.

As one of only four teens still participating in Boy Scouts in his grade since kindergarten, Fields is about to be an Eagle Scout. Once he completes his project in the spring, that is.

The project has been months in the making, which will include the construction of a 2,610-square-foot sidewalk connecting his neighborhood to the high school. Though his Champion Drive cul-de-sac is close, children struggle to walk to school when there’s snow or cold weather. In which case, parents must drive them to school, wasting about 5 to 10 minutes of time and gas. It’s one of the only nearby streets without a paved walkway to the school.

“It just make sense,” Smith said.

In charge of the project, Michael’s covered every detail; supplies, funding, manpower. He’ll have help from his scoutmaster and fellow members, too.

“It’s a great lesson in leadership,” said Drew Fields, Michael’s dad. “I’m very proud.”

Once finished and Eagle Scout status approved — the highest in Boy Scouts — Michael figures he’ll still help out but will focus more on things like student council and college. Besides, the overachiever still has two more years of high school before he gets his diploma.

“I’m just an outgoing kid who likes to try new things,” Michael said. “All these things that I’ve been involved with in my life have made me a better person.”