Pasadena Elementary now has two brightly-colored structures in its outdoor sensory garden: a xylophone and an abacus.
Jack Whittington, a senior at Severna Park High School, installed the structures for his Eagle Scout project.
“I always try to help out whenever I can,” Whittington said. “It feels good to give something back to the community.”
Whittington chose Pasadena Elementary because his mom used to work at the school. He spoke with Principal Jennifer Quirino to determine what addition would be most beneficial.
“We’re looking to develop that area and add more each year,” Quirino said. “I was approached by Jack, and we offered him a couple different options for projects, and that was the one he selected.”
The structures provide more tactile and visual equipment to the playground, Quirino said.
Whittington spent roughly six months working on the two structures. He had to special-order the pipes from a metal supplier.
“The hardest part was talking to all the different companies to get all the different materials we needed,” Whittington said. “There was a lot of different places that were selling a lot of different types of materials that we needed.”
Once completed, it took Whittington two days across two weekends to fully install the structures.
“They’ve been really excited,” Quirino said of the students’ reactions. “The addition of these two have given students more sensory opportunities, as well as music with movement. They love that stimulation of touch.”
He said his motivation to become an Eagle Scout is due to his grandfather.
Whittington’s grandfather was an Eagle Scout, so Whittington has always had that same goal. According to Troop 918 scoutmaster Mike Binnix, Whittington has also served as patrol leader, senior patrol leaders, and troop guide.
“In these roles, he was responsible for organizing groups of scouts of anywhere from five to 30 at a time in planning and executing camp trips, and back-country adventures such as backpacking, canoeing and biking,” Binnix said. “He led the effort by the scouts to set the schedule, duty rosters assigning camp tasks and keeping the troop moving in the right direction. He learned to lead by example, and to ensure everyone had a safe, fun experience.”
Whittington’s Court of Honor ceremony will be held on May 7 at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church.
Binnix, who has known Whittington for six years from his time as assistant scoutmaster and then scoutmaster of Troop 918, emphasized the teen’s impact on both his peers and elders.
“The other scouts and adult volunteers of Troop 918 look up to Jack and aspire to follow his example as a leader and a friend,” Binnix said. “We're all going to miss him when he leaves the area for college in the fall.”