Justin Sindecuse-Hayden

While juggling high school, college applications, and clubs like Rock Climbing and Scholar Bowl, senior Justin Sindecuse-Hayden also works towards becoming an Eagle Scout.

“It’s the highest rank you can achieve in the Boy Scouts program. A lot of people assume when you’re a boy scout that you’re always in nature making fires or something, but there’s a lot more to it. You learn valuable life skills like how to manage a budget, too.”

In order to become an Eagle Scout, one of the requirements is earning at least 21 merit badges. There are 13 specific badges, such as cooking, personal management, and first aid, which are required as one of the 21.

“Depending on the merit badge, you take a class or work with an instructor. They’ll teach you things like how to tie a bow string for an archery merit badge. There’s also weird ones like a nuclear science merit badge, where you go to a nuclear power plant and talk to someone who works there,” Sindecuse-Hayden said. “You usually get an exam after a course; the idea of having merit badges is you learn the basics of all the facets of life.”

For his Eagle Scout project, Sindecuse-Hayden is leading younger scouts to build two benches for Howell’s tennis court.

“We’ll be cutting the wood, painting it and everything. I have to prove my leadership skills by instructing the kids. I make sure they’re following safety guidelines and I find a way to apply all the other knowledge I’ve gained in the 21 merit badges I earned.”