By LOIS KINDLE
A Ruskin teen’s recent Eagle Scout project benefited both a local nonprofit organization and a trio of feral cats.
Fifteen-year-old Jadyn Bartling, a member of Riverview-based BSA Scout Troop 610, conceived, planned and executed a cat condo and feeding station, fulfilling a longtime need at the cultural center.
The Lennard High School sophomore heard about the Firehouse Cultural Center’s needs from Amber Council, a longtime family friend, and called to propose the project.
“We’ve had feral cats here at the Firehouse for more than seven years,” said Beth Stein, operations manager. “At one time there were 17, and working with Feline Folks to get them fixed, fostered and adopted, we’re now down to three. We were delighted she chose to help us and our cats. They’re part of the Firehouse family.”
Following the intricate plans Bartling drew up for the project and had approved by council officials, she and 16 scouts from her troop, plus 10 other volunteers, spent five hours working together Sept. 16 to build and place the two structures. The wood they used was repurposed from palettes donated by Council Growers and sealed to protect it from the elements.
Bartling’s cost for materials was only $85. Including planning, prep work and the actual project, she spent a total of 17 hours herself, and her team spent 120 man hours.
“It was a great turnout,” said Bartling’s mother, Audra, the troop’s co-leader. “Sometimes, we only get a handful of scouts to help.”
Bartling has been a scout since October 2019. Active in her community and church on a regular basis, she coaches her younger sister Kathryn’s soccer team (ages 7-8), is an altar server at St. Stephen Catholic Church and a member of FFA at Lennard High School, where she’s in its veterinary program. She loves to draw, paint and is a huge animal lover.
Bartling is also the assistant senior patrol leader in BSA Scout Troop 610G. She wants to become a canine unit officer in law enforcement.
The requirements for a scout to obtain Eagle rank include the following:
• Be active at the Life scout rank for at least six months.
• Earn a total of 21 merit badges, which includes 14 required Eagle badges. (She’s earned 32.)
• Hold a leadership position within her troop
• Plan, develop and lead an Eagle service project
• Complete all required community service hours through all six scout ranks (She’s completed 150.)
• Participate in a scoutmaster conference
• Successfully complete a board of review for Eagle Scout rank with the Greater Tampa Bay Area Council
Bartling is now awaiting her scoutmaster conference and board of review, after which she will receive her award at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor early next year.
“[The project] came out exactly how I planned,” she said. “I enjoy scouting and am looking forward to earning my Eagle rank.”
For information on BSA Scout Troop 610, which meets from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday evenings at St. Stephen Catholic Church, 10118 St. Stephen Circle, Riverview, email Stephanie Crawley at firstname.lastname@example.org/.