Student Builds and Gifts Benches to His School

img_2569_webLast summer Mount Madonna School (MMS) student and Eagle Scout candidate Isaac Harris was busy building benches. Three benches, specifically, that he proudly delivered to the school’s campus in July. The handmade wooden benches – are a welcome and useful gift for the rural campus. The benches provide comfortable places to sit and enjoy the redwood and madrone forest surrounding the campus, and the hawk’s eye view of the Monterey Bay.

Construction of the benches was a service project devised by Harris to help him obtain the Eagle Scout ranking, something he achieved in late August.

img_2494“Scouting has almost always been a large part of my life,” shared Harris. ”I joined at the ripe age of seven as a Wolf rank, primarily driven by the rumors of camping, firearms, and an overall sense of independence. Even today I feel that scouting has not changed much for me, as I still enjoy the same freedom and opportunity that I had all of those years ago.

“My endeavor with the Eagle Scout project proved to be quite a challenge, although, it was most definitely worth the effort. At Mount Madonna School, all three benches stand out from the landscape, providing the campus with both scenic and comfortable seating. I chose to do my project at Mount Madonna because I know just how pretty of a school it is, and that these benches would be graciously received by both faculty and students alike.”

img_2509“Undertaking this project brought with it a vast array of hoops to jump through. First, I had to get my project’s plans approved by different people all around the county. Second, I began fundraising to reach my goal of the $400 needed to fund the project. Third, I had to purchase all required materials and supplies to accommodate for three large park benches. Finally was the execution of the project, which took a lot of organization, patience, and workers to complete the benches in a professional and efficient manner.

“Now, with the project finished, I have time to reflect on my lifelong experience as a Boy Scout. I cannot even remember not being in the program, and now that I am leaving I feel a mix of nostalgia and deviation from my youth. The rank of Eagle Scout symbolizes the pinnacle of achievement within scouting, and it is important to me, knowing that I am able to accomplish such a complex and arduous task.”

isaac-harris_eagle-scoutEagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America. Since its introduction in 1911, more than 2 million young men have achieved this rank.

“To earn the Rank of Eagle, a scout must earn 21 merit badges, obtain the rank of Life Scout, serve in a leadership position on the troop, and carry out an Eagle project demonstrating leadership and serving the community, explained Michael W. Maher, assistant scouting master for Troop 609 of Aptos, during the ranking ceremony in August. “Isaac led to completion a beautiful project for Mount Madonna School involving building, finishing, and installing three park benches on the school grounds. Isaac also earned 29 merit badges and led our troop as senior patrol leader (SPL).His tenure as SPL included leading our troop on an exciting Death Valley adventure. We are all very proud of everything that Isaac has accomplished on his scouting journey from Cub Scout to Eagle Scout.”

img_2555And we, at Mount Madonna School, are very thankful for the lovely benches that invite us to take pause and enjoy the serenity of the campus environment.


Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, Director of Marketing & Communications,

Nestled among the redwoods on 355 acres, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is a community of learners dedicated to creative, intellectual, and ethical growth. MMS supports its students in becoming caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals; and believe a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.