Ethan Sifferman

What did I Organize?

On September 6th, 2018, I earned the highest rank in Boy Scout: Eagle. A requirement for this award is to lead a service project that benefits my community. Since I was an active member of the CVCHS Ugly Eagles Marching Band, I decided to build durable, wooden shelves for instruments and equipment.

This project required 16 collaborators and over 120 collective hours of planning and construction. Thank you to all who helped make the finished product beautiful!

Project Description

I removed the old shelves in the Clayton Valley Marching Band's shed and replaced them with brand new, custom fit, wooden shelves. The old shelves could not store the Marching Band's newly purchased instruments or sound equipment. However, these shelving units have been customized to perfectly fit the band’s needs. This will speed up the loading and unloading process substantially, and will allow the band to store much more inside the shed.

I first established my work days to set a deadline for myself. I then asked for adult volunteers. Then, I made last minute revisions to my drawings. I contacted Ashby Lumber and asked for a quote. The day before my project, I picked up the lumber.

The construction process went very smoothly. We finished a day early. We also had enough leftover wood to repair the ramps leading up to the sheds. At the end of the day, we had no unused wood. And when we were cleaning up to go home, we had time to pick up the trash that had been thrown behind and around the shed from before we arrived.

In addition, transporting of materials was easy because of the help I received from my family friend's truck. And Ashby Lumber gave us a huge discount. We only had to pay $314.79 for the plywood. All other materials were donated.

Getting started was very difficult. I was right in the middle of SATs, finals, Diablo Wind Symphony, College applications, and County Honor Band. My project took four months to complete after it had been approved.

And on the work day, some of the helpers were questioning my plans. I would give them instructions, they would tell me I was wrong, and then build "their way." I found it hard to manage their opinions when I had worked so hard crafting the project plan. This destroyed my self-esteem for the first 20 minutes, but we stopped the project for a few minutes and discussed the plan and reached a solution where the plan was ultimately improved.

Schematics, Maps, and Diagrams

Here are the documents I prepared over the course of four months to prepare for the project!

Finished Product


On construction day, my job was to constantly inform people of the next step. For the entirety of the project, there were three main groups all working separately. One building one shelf, one building the other, and one who did whatever anyone asked them to do. It was my job to ensure that everyone was working as efficiently as possible. For example, I would ask one scout to measure a piece of wood for an adult, then I would demonstrate how to drill in the screws for the next step for one shelf building group, then I would see that "shelf building group #2" needed more screws, so I would ask another boy to get more screws for that group. I would do this all in the course of a few minutes.

Additionally, I made sure that all Guide to Safe Scouting guidelines were being followed.

This project was a perfect example of leadership. I was constantly delegating. In Boy Scouts, we are taught about servant leadership: that leaders need to work alongside their group members as a team. But one can still be a servant leader even if they direct others. I wasn't measuring, or drilling, or cutting, but I was still working as hard as everyone else by maintaining the flow of productivity. That is what servant leadership is: the leader working just as hard as the follower.

Eagle Promise

I reaffirm my allegiance
To the three promises of the Scout Oath.
I thoughtfully recognize
And take upon myself
The obligations and responsibilities
Of an Eagle Scout.
On my honor I will do my best
To make my training and example,
My rank and my influence
Count strongly for better Scouting
And for better citizenship
In my troop,
In my community,
And in my contacts with other people.
To this I pledge my sacred honor.