In less than a year, Lake Catholic senior Ethan Trumbull will be 18. Among his many goals before then is to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. According to the Boy Scouts of America website, only four percent of eligible Boy Scouts achieve that. To do so, besides earning at least 21 merit badges, and demonstrating an ideal attitude, the scout must conceive of and complete a significant service project.
Ethan believes Lake Catholic has played a significant role in his life. As a result, he decided to make the school the beneficiary of his project.
“I noticed there aren’t many places to sit in the school’s common areas, so I decided to build six benches.” Three are dedicated to teachers, now deceased, who touched Ethan’s life during the time he attended Lake. The other three are dedicated to all Lake alumni, Ethan’s class of 2019, and the performing arts department, respectively.
Ethan first came up with his bench idea for an earlier scouting project. “I had built three outdoor ones for area scout camps and they turned out really nice. I pitched the idea for the Lake benches to Mr. Crowley last spring at the end of the school year.” After gaining the school’s approval, he and his advisors modified the bench design to be “smaller and more like a fine piece of furniture.” It took nearly four months to build and finish them.
Each bench is six by two feet, with a plaque explaining the project and to whom it is dedicated. Two are in the school’s atrium; three are outside the guidance offices; and one is in the performing arts hallway, where Ethan spends a lot of time. He had a shoutout for Mr. Posey and Mr. Slike, “who are just fantastic people; helping everyone through acting, singing and playing an instrument.”
The three deceased teachers honored are Monica Senra, Joanne Randazzo and Mary Zappitelli. “They’d all done a lot for the school and for the Lake community, so I thought it would be good idea to do something nice for them.”
Scouting has been a through line in Ethan’s life since he started as a Cub Scout in the first grade. He says every scout’s dream is to reach the rank of Eagle Scout. “I’ve continued to push myself to reach that goal. I want to get it done soon so I can still enjoy some of my scouting career as a youth and as an Eagle Scout.”
The benches were a challenging project for Ethan, as he had no prior experience with woodworking. “It was a ton of work but I got a lot of help from other people, especially my dad, and my advisor. My friend Ryan Grabnar, a Lake freshman, helped more days than anyone.”
Ethan is proud of what he’s accomplished and glad to have provided something special for his school. “Lake has done a lot for me; I definitely wouldn’t be where I am now if I’d stayed in the public school system.”