The Lonsdale Archery Range has three new tables where archers can set their bow cases, and it’s thanks to Scouts BSA (Boy Scouts of America) Troop 327 member Brianna Harper.
A senior at Tri-City United High School, Harper enjoys archery and recognized a need for the tables from her own experience. When visiting the archery range with other families, they often fought over the limited picnic tables stationed further away from the targets.
On track to earn her Eagle, the highest ranking in Scouts BSA, it made sense for Harper to build three tables at the archery range as her Eagle Scout Service Project. She brought her idea to the city of Lonsdale and the Scouts BSA District for approval by Oct. 1, planned the project and gathered materials, and completed the three tables by Oct. 18.
The three tables don’t function as picnic tables and don’t include benches, so their purpose is to give archers a place to set their bows and arrows. They’re waist-high, and Harper painted the metal parts as part of her project.
“It needed to be sturdy and maintenance free, so we tried to make it high enough for a mower to go underneath but also not too high for youth to put their cases on,” Harper said. “Also we had to get special composite decking wood so it wouldn’t rot.”
Before officially earning her Eagle, Harper needs to earn a few more merit badges. Every Scout needs to earn at least 21 merit badges in order to become an Eagle, and Harper said her favorites so far were in scuba diving and photography. She also needs to meet the time requirement for being involved in her current rank. Although she has two months remaining, the paperwork won’t be completed until Feb. 8, 2021, when she and others in her troop will be admitted to the Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts.
“I’m really honored to do it,” Harper said. “I saw my brother get [his Eagle], and it was something I kind of wanted to do, but obviously Scouts didn’t have it for girls at that time. So working to receive it is kind of like a dream.”
Harper’s involvement with Scouts started in Venturing Crew, a co-ed program of Scouting BSA that allows members to participate until they turn 21. After Scouts BSA started a female troop in Lonsdale, she transferred to that troop.
“I’ve learned a lot actually,” Harper said of her time with Scouts BSA. “I went to Gray Wolf, a national youth leadership program, and learned how to be a leader there. I also went to Jamboree (in West Virginia) and learned to communicate effectively and learned more about culture.”
After earning her Eagle rank, Harper hopes to return to Venturing Crew and go to the various camps offered, including the next World Scout Jamboree, which will take place in South Korea in 2023. In the meantime, she’s also pursuing her Order of the Arrow membership, which is similar to a National Honors Society for Scouts. She has already completed her first step in the process as an Ordeal and can then advance to Brotherhood Membership and Vigil Honor if she chooses.
Scouting BSA Troop 327 Scoutmaster Nancy Zellner said Harper is hard working and dedicated. Like the others in her troop, she joined Scouting BSA as soon as the option became available for girls Feb. 1, 2019.
“She’s got a positive attitude and she’s a good inspiration for young women,” Zellner said.