A 14-year-old member of Scouts BSA Troop 1869 earned Scouting’s highest honor — the Eagle Scout Award – for her project at a local nonprofit.
Scout Amelia King, an eighth-grade student Burnett Junior High School, partnered with In-Sync Exotics in Wylie to update the entrance ramp to the nonprofit’s visitors center and restroom, making it accessible to all guests.
Construction for the project was originally set for late October, but due to weather, it was rescheduled for Saturday, Dec. 2.
Amelia said she decided to center her project on big cats after visiting the sanctuary with her family, adding that she loved seeing the cats and respected In-Sync Exotics’ goal to give them a good home.
Her project got jump-started when she visited In-Sync to take some measurements. While there, volunteer, Emily Graham said she was interested in supporting Amelia’s project.
“She reached out to the McKinney Masons and the Order of the Eastern Star about funding my project,” Amelia said. “Both organizations donated to my project and together their donations covered the entire cost.”
Because the project required construction knowledge, Amelia said she reached out to adults with experience.
“I was very fortunate to have many willing to help me build the ramp,” Amelia said. “My project advisors, Jason Baker and my dad, Forrest King, were also very helpful when I was planning and coming up with the design of the ramp.”
The ramp was built in one day, thanks to help from multiple Scouts and adult volunteers.
“All five Scouts from my troop, including myself, as well as three Scouts from Troop 78 and seven adults constructed the ramp on Dec. 2,” Amelia said.
Another adult provided lunch for everyone, said Amelia, and overall, the project “took around eight hours.”
The project was finalized on Thursday, Dec. 28, when Amelia returned to In-Sync Exotics with her parents to paint the ramp.
ISE board member and Director of Education, Laura Czekala, said “It was a pleasure working with Amelia. We are incredibly grateful and honored that she selected In-Sync for her Eagle Scout project.”
Since the completion of the new ramp, Czekala said they have received “numerous compliments” on Amelia’s work and about the positive impact it has had “on our visitor’s experience.”
Amelia is the third girl in her troop to receive the Eagle Scout award. She is a founding member of Scouts BSA Troop 1869, an all-girls Boy Scout troop that began in 2020.
“Our troop is very close-knit, and we encourage each other’s progress,” Amelia said. “We enjoy working on requirements and merit badges together. Taking on this project was challenging, but it taught me a lot about leadership, organization, and project management. Balancing an Eagle Scout Project with school, band, National Junior Honor Society, and other obligations has helped me better my time management.”
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To donate to In-Sync Exotics, visit https://www.insyncexotics.org/