The Berks-Mont News (http://www.berksmontnews.com)

Eagle Scout makes bleachers safer at Topton bball fields


By Roxanne Richardson, For 21st Century Media

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Brandywine Heights sophomore and baseball fanatic, Alex Moulder, stepped up to the plate and scored a home run for the Brandywine Youth Baseball Organization.
Alex had eyed-up the ball field as a way of achieving his Eagle status and as a way of giving back to the community.
“I saw what needed to be done. The gravel was kind of sparse, the bleachers needed to be painted, and the dug-outs needed a fresh coat so I just went from there,” said Alex.
“One of the things that was very important to him was to make sure that not only did the place look beautiful and he gave back, but he wanted to make sure that there was some safety there as well,” said Mark Miller of the Brandywine Youth Baseball Association, liaison between Alex and the association.
According to Miller, there was one set of bleachers that needed all of the boards replaced.
“This bench was broken in half. There were pieces missing; it was rotted out; it was sharp; it was jagged. You couldn’t unscrew those bolts. They were so rusted that we actually sawed every one of them off,” said Alex.
“When we walked around in the planning stages, this was very important to him because not just the children playing baseball, but the little brothers and sisters that could be running around here and that was a potential safety hazard,” said Miller.
The supplies were from donations made to the BYBA from individuals and organizations throughout the year. Lunch was provided by Giant and Weis supermarkets from Kutztown.
“We had the finances to do it; now I have the hands and the willingness to do it,” said Miller. “We were very touched when he said he wanted to give back to the community and give back to the baseball organization that he has so much pride in and so many fond memories and he just wanted to make it a better place for the children of our community. The governing body of the Brandywine Youth Baseball could not have been happier and more willing to help him make sure that he got to do what he wanted to do.”
Miller said the association has had many compliments from the parents on how beautiful the facelift looks on the little field.
Alex needed to plan and organize a service project for any religious organization, or any school or community in his goal to achieve Eagle status with the Boy Scouts of America. The final phase for him is to complete an Eagle Scout board of review.
Wearing a sash giving testament to his many achievements, Alex said he needed 21 badges to qualify and 12 of those are required. He has earned 28 so far and will also be presented with additional badges he had earned at an awards ceremony when he completes his review on Sept. 18.
Alex said the biggest challenge for his project was making sure he had enough people to help. When the day came to do the work, at first it didn’t seem like there would be many people.
“More people did show up and we actually ran out of jobs. There weren’t enough rollers. They had finished the gravel a lot faster than I had thought. They were going so fast, I almost wanted to tell them to slow down,” Alex said.
Everyone had pretty much left before lunch and before the rest of the supplies had arrived so when boards for one set of bleachers did arrive it was just Alex and his family and a volunteer who had called to see if they still needed help.
“A man showed up from our church,” said Joan, Alex’s mother.
“He called and he’s like, ‘Are you still working on the project?’ Are we ever,” said Alex.
“He was terrific and we worked together; it was just our family and this man and it was just perfect,” said Joan. “We got it all done.”
Millerfound it heart-warming to see as many as 38 people who volunteered to help.
Alex had enlisted the help of fellow scouts, family, and his buddies from school who had also played for years through Brandywine Youth Baseball.
“They were actually here working with him to make this place more beautiful. That’s what community is about,” said Miller.
“There was a lot of advertising, a lot of personal asking and phone calls and emails. I made posters; I gave handouts. I made sure that each person who said they were coming was coming and I tried to get it out to as many people as possible,” said Alex.
Although the planning began several months ago, Alex managed to enlist enough help within a month to knock the project out of the field in one day.
Alex plans to continue working toward more badges and eventually begin earning Eagle Palms. Eagle Palms, a set of wings, are awarded for every five new badges achieved after a six month wait period.
“It shows you’re going above and beyond just getting the Eagle,” said Moulder.
“There’s 120-some merit badges available,” said Joan.
According to Alex, there are a few scouts out there who have earned every single merit badge. When they walk into a room wearing their sash, it’s like seeing a rainbow.
Although Alex would love to play baseball professionally, he feels a career in engineering or science may be more likely to happen.