By Megan McVay
Contrary to popular belief, there is a lot more to Boy Scouts than roasting marshmallows and pitching tents during campouts. For Canyon Crest Academy junior David Kimball, it entailed a 287-hour project, 34 merit badges and countless friends, opportunities and adventures.
Kimball joined Troop 713 when he was in the eighth grade and since then has earned badges in areas including personal finance, personal fitness, first aid, environmental science and his personal favorite, water sports.
“Some of the merit badges, like the personal fitness badge, take six months to earn. I took an initial fitness test and trained a few times each week for six months in order to reach my required goal and earn the badge. Even though they require a lot of work, they really do make you a more well-rounded person,” said Kimball.
Already exceeding the 21 badges required to become an Eagle Scout, Kimball was able to focus on his Eagle Scout project. The principal of Solana Pacific Elementary School Brian McBride brought an issue to his attention and simultaneously sparked the idea behind his project.
“At Solana Pacific Elementary School, the kids used to track dirt into the hallways and classrooms when they came back from recess, so I decided to make stone paver pathways from the blacktop to the door entrance of the school to solve this problem,” said Kimball.
Kimball reveals that, surprisingly, the most difficult part of the 7-month project was getting the plans approved. Kimball typed up the entire concept, complete with schematics, images and step-by-step plans to present to the District Eagle Project Coordinator and the Boy Scout Council, who then reviewed it and suggested changes.
After receiving the much-earned approval, Kimball mapped out the area, purchased the materials, and with the help 39 friends and family members, completed three 30-foot pathways after 287 hours of work.
However, he still wasn’t done. Before receiving his Eagle Scout Award, Kimball had to meet with a final board of review to be approved.
“The board can ask you anything regarding your Boy Scout experience and it only approves those who exemplify a well-rounded, productive member of society,” explained Kimball.
It is no wonder then that Kimball was approved as he is well versed in a plethora of different areas. When he isn’t earning a merit badge as a scout, Kimball can be found at an Academic Team competition, a Stock Market Club meeting or at Scripps Memorial Hospital, where he volunteers, sitting in on surgeries and gaining insight into his prospective career as an orthopedic surgeon.
On March 24, Kimball arrived at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Del Mar clad in his scout uniform and sash covered in 34 badges worth of achievement and adventure for his Eagle Court of Honor.
“I’m definitely going to continue earning badges even though I’ve received my Eagle Scout Award. The best part about being a scout is all the friends I’ve made through the program. Some of my closest friends are people I’ve met through the troop,” said Kimball.