Runnels Senior Achieves Rank of Eagle Scout
Alex Morgan, a senior at Runnels High School, recently completed the requirements to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in American Boy Scouting. Though less than five percent of all scouts achieve this prestigious badge, there's a precedent for it in Alex's family. His great-grandfather was an Eagle and a scoutmaster, and Alex is proud to wear his scouting cap from the 1930s.
“He wore this hat at scout meetings,” said Alex, referring to his great-grandfather's prized vintage Boy Scouts of America hat (See photo).
In the pursuit of his Eagle badge, Alex, who has been a member of Boy Scout Troop 203 for seven years, was required to earn 21 merit badges and demonstrate leadership and organizational skills by successfully completing a community service project.
He decided that he wanted this project to benefit the theatre program at Runnels, which holds a special place in his heart. Since kindergarten, Alex has been involved in Runnels productions. His first show was Annie in 2007. “I wanted to do something that would give back to the theatre,” he explained. After consulting Runnels K-12 Theatre Program Chair Neena McLain, he decided to build backstage shelving for props and set pieces in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre, replacing shelves that had been lost in the flood.
As part of his Eagle project requirements, Alex had to plan out the entire project, do a cost analysis, file a financial report, fund and purchase the materials for the shelving unit, and secure volunteers to help build it.
Concerned about the placement of the structure and safety issues, he enlisted the volunteer help of architect and former scoutmaster Byron Humes, who suggested that he use a 3-D modeling program to design a prototype. Alex took his advice. The shelving unit he came up with was 9 feet tall and approximately 10 feet wide, with two heavy platforms for storage. The platforms would rest on posts anchored to a fire wall and drilled into the concrete floor. The weight capacity would be more than 500 pounds.
On construction day in May, Alex led a team of volunteers, several from his scout troop. He started with safety briefings and step-by-step directions on using power tools and constructing the platforms. Though the platforms were built on the ground, it took scoutmasters, college student volunteers, and a few dads to lift the heavy shelves onto the posts and anchor the whole unit into place.
When the project was completed, Ms. Kelfstrom was delighted: "I am so honored that Alex would choose the theatre for his Eagle project. Restoring the shelves backstage has been such a wonderful gift. Alex's talents have been enjoyed onstage and now we can enjoy them backstage as well."
Alex said he was grateful to the many volunteers who helped with the project including his current Scoutmaster, Chad Harper, former Troop 203 Scoutmasters Ron Miller and Lee Meeks, and Runnels alums Alex and Sam Matthews.
Alex, the son of Norma Marsh and Craig Morgan, is his family’s third Eagle Scout. His older brother, Max, a Runnels alumnus, currently a college student, is an Eagle as was their great-grandfather, Richard William Morgan, who passed away in 1986.
Alex is scheduled to receive his Eagle badge at a Court of Honor in October.