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AHS Senior Builds Garden For Eagle Scout Service Project

Aubrey High School senior Ethan Coppedge has hiked 125 miles through the wilderness in New Mexico, canoed through lakes and rivers in Northern Minnesota and sat around campfires on countless camping trips.

High School student in middle of garden project Over the last eight years, the 18-year old has gone on numerous adventures as a member of Boy Scout Troop 366.  That journey came to a triumphant close when Ethan received official confirmation at the end of December that he had earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honor a Boy Scout can receive.

“Boy Scouts is probably what made me what I am today,” Ethan said. “It has taught me a lot of leadership skills and taught me real-world lessons.”

One of the biggest requirements of the Eagle Scout rank is the service project. A scout has to plan, develop and give leadership to others in a project that benefits a religious institution, school or community, according to the Boy Scouts website.

Ethan wanted to do something for the Aubrey schools so he met with AHS principal Matt Gore to discuss ideas.

“We went back and forth with ideas and came up with the garden,” Ethan said. “We thought it was a good way for students to experience what it would be like to grow their own food.”

“Ethan is an incredible student and young man,” AHS principal Matt Gore said. “Not only has he accomplished something that few do, which is achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, but he has also been a rotary student of the month and helped beautify our campus courtyard by building a raised walking garden. We are proud of his accomplishments.”

With the help of a dozen friends, Ethan spent around six hours on a Saturday in October building the garden plus two benches in the breezeway of the high school.

High School student receiving eagle scout award “This project means a lot to me,” Ethan said. “I poured my heart into it along with my friends. One of my friends recently moved here, and it meant a lot to me that he wanted to help me out.”

Kids age out of Boy Scouts at 18 and with a November birthday, Ethan had to work tirelessly for over a month to put the garden project together under deadline. He found time to get everything done while still participating in his extracurricular activities.

Ethan played on the offensive line for the AHS football team and races motorcross in his free time. His competitive nature helped motivate him to stay in Boy Scouts despite his busy schedule.   

“I was very competitive with one of my friends in the troop. If he did something, I had to do something better.”

In addition to the weekly meetings and monthly camp outs, Ethan also attended two of the four major Boy Scout camps: Northern Tier and Philmont. Ethan helped lead a canoeing trip in Minnesota with Northern Tier and hiked for two weeks at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico two summers ago.

Some of his favorite memories include hiking in the snow in New Mexico, making stops at various towns on the 125-mile hike, and being spooked by stories of mountain lions.

Ethan is planning on majoring in criminal justice in college and his career goal is to join the FBI. His favorite class at AHS was Coach Siano’s criminal justice class. The leadership and survival skills he learned in the Boy Scouts will certain help him on his next journey.