Headshot of Sean McLoone, Eagle Scout

Sean McLoone, a rising junior at Roman Catholic High School, utilized key lessons he learned from Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge’s Spirit of America Youth Leadership program while carrying out his recent Eagle Scout project. For his project, Sean said he worked with Abington Township to clean up an important wildlife sanctuary which had significance to him and his community.

“Edgehill Woods had slowly become neglected with overgrown vegetation and trash,” said Sean. “I wanted to restore the woods to how they were before – a beautiful wildlife sanctuary enjoyed by the members of my neighborhood. It was a little overwhelming on the second day of the project when I had over twenty volunteers to lead. As the leader of the project, I learned how to delegate tasks in a productive manner, choosing groups of volunteers to perform specific tasks based on age, strength and the like. The most important thing I learned concerning leadership was how to adapt the original plan to fit how the project was going, whether it was stopping the project an hour early on Saturday due to rain or having to obtain more wheelbarrows when more volunteers than expected showed up.”

By attending Freedoms Foundation’s Spirit of America Youth Leadership program, Sean was able to sharpen knowledge and skills which aided him in carrying out his project.

“My biggest take away from the Spirit of America Youth Leadership seminar were the five pillars of citizenship,” said Sean. “I used each pillar – respect, participation, accountability, productivity, and generosity – throughout the entire project as did everyone who helped me. The pillars and principles of leadership taught to me by Freedoms Foundation were extremely valuable to me while conducting my project.”

Text on image says "Before" and "After". Before shows overgrown forest. After shows cleared forest path.
Text on image says "Before" and "After". Before shows clearing in need of upkeep. After shows clearing with new signage and bench.

As he reflected on his experience at Freedoms Foundation and throughout his Eagle Scout project, Sean echoed a fundamental sense of civic duty and responsibility.

“Overall, I learned that organizations can only do so much,” said Sean. “At the end of the day it is our civic responsibility as a member of the community to watch over our community and fix the problems we see. Even if younger citizens like myself cannot participate in our most valuable civic responsibility, voting, there are still tons of things we can do to fulfill our civic duty like cleaning up a wildlife sanctuary for future generations to enjoy.”

To learn more about the student education programs offered by Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, visit www.freedomsfoundation.org.

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