Hampton senior earns rank of Eagle Scout

Monday, October 28, 2019 | 12:01 AM

Hard work, dedication and loyalty were key to earning Sanjay Johnson, a senior at Hampton High School, his Eagle Scout Rank.

Sanjay, of Gibsonia, officially achieved the rank of Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America Oct. 2 for building a High Tower Rainwater Catchment System at the North Hills Community Outreach Rosalinda Sauro Sirianni Garden in Bellevue, this past summer.

Specifically, he installed gutters, rain barrels, and an irrigation system at the high tower at the nonprofit’s in-house garden. This system gives the crops within the high tower, which is similar to a greenhouse, access to fresh rainwater, according to Sanjay’s presentation.

He researched that the minerals added to tap water can build up on the plants if it is their only source of water. So his project helps to give these plants a secondary source of pure rainwater.

“Previously we were irrigating the crops in our high tunnel with hand held hoses and now we have a gravity fed drip irrigation system that is much more efficient and saves us in labor and water costs. It also helps prevent storm water runoff and lowers disease risk,” said Alyssa Crawford, NHCO garden and youth coordinator.

“All of the food grown in the garden is donated to the nonprofit’s three food pantries, which is then distributed to more than 1,000 families a year. The high tunnel allows produce to grow year-round, extending the growing warm season crops like tomatoes and peppers. It also allows growth for cool season crops like spinach and lettuce throughout the winter, said Crawford.

Sanjay finished the project this past May, after months of preparations and planning modifications. Sanjay also had to fit this in with his busy school work and extracurricular activities.

He is a member of the Japeechen District, Boy Scouts of America.

Outside of Scouts he is also a drum major in the high school marching band, and he participates in a robotics team, debate, the musical, and does cross country.

“Achieving Eagle Scout is an indicator of all the leadership skills I have developed while I’ve been in scouting,” Sanjay said.

According to his dad, Peter, Sanjay does what he can to live the Scout law on a daily basis.

“He is trustworthy, honest and dependable, and delivers on the promises and commitments he makes,” said his dad.

As leader of the project, Sanjay enlisted the help of troop members, family and friends.

Total costs came to approximately $1,000 and Sanjay used donations from local businesses, and fundraised door-to-door. The remaining expenses were paid for from his family and himself, according to his report.

Sanjay has been an active volunteer at the NHCO prior to doing this project. The NHCO helps struggling families in the community in a variety of ways, including a food pantry, the garden, seasonal projects, financial guidance, utility assistance, work-related assistance, and rides for senior citizens, among other things, according to NHCO.org.

It is a lengthy and involved process to become an Eagle Scout. A scout must have proved he completed all of his Scouting requirements prior to his 18th birthday, prepare an Eagle Scout Service Project workbook and then a detailed application, which must be signed by the appropriate leaders and submitted to a BSA council for review, according to scoutingorg.com.

The application is then sent to the National Advancement Team for approval. Then, a scout can begin the project, of which must also be very detailed, following specific guidelines, throughout the process.

This is then again submitted, reviewed by a BSA board of review, and, if satisfactory, approved. A scout could then be approved for his Eagle Scout rank.

Peter said, as a parent, he sees the benefits of scouting in various ways. Not only do scouts get to learn how to become model citizens, they get to have a lot of fun at the same time, such as rock climbing, ropes courses, hiking and camping.

And a benefit is, they aren’t allowed to have their cell phones with them when they do these outings, said Peter.

“And they don’t really even miss it,” he said.

This organization has definitely made a mark on Sanjay.

“Scouting is important to me because it allows me to lead in a way I can’t in school and take charge of a lot of fun and unique activities,” he said.