Eagle Scout builds fence for Jacksonville’s FBCH campus
Aug 16, 2010
Florida Baptist Witness

Joseph Vaughn provided leadership to build a 325-foot fence for an Eagle Scout project. FBC photo
JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—Joseph Vaughn, in the process of becoming an Eagle Scout, provided the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes Jacksonville campus a much-needed fence. According to FBCH Area Administrator Randy Harrison, Vaughn’s Eagle Scout project accomplished a task that had been on the campus to-do list for years. 

The 57-acre Jacksonville campus includes pastures where the residents take lessons in horseback riding. The old wire fence around the pastures had become distorted as trees grew into its path, but the task of replacing the fence had taken a back seat to maintenance of the campus’ other 14 buildings and extensive grounds.

“We had wanted to get this done for a while, and we are so grateful for volunteers like Joseph who step in to do what our maintenance crew didn’t have time to do,” Harrison said.

Vaughn, 18, grew up playing Upward Basketball on the FBCH campus, and his father’s Sunday School class from Jacksonville’s First Baptist Church installed basketball goals and repaired concrete at the home. Vaughn’s father, Joey, led Bible studies for the boys who live there.

When it came time for Joseph Vaughn to select a project to complete his Eagle Scout requirements, he chose FBCH and met with Harrison and Maintenance Director Luther Scarboro to get their input on the campus’ needs.

Vaughn chose to install a 325-foot long, five-foot high fence to replace the old pasture fence. To become an Eagle Scout, a young man must plan, acquire financing, and enlist volunteers to complete the chosen task.

“The planning was more complicated than I thought it would be, and I was stressed wondering where the money would come from,” Vaughn told Florida Baptist Witness. “It all worked out, though.”

During three months last winter, Vaughn’s team of volunteers—his fellow Scouts, family members, and fellow church members—carefully removed the old fence to save the trees, drove fence posts every eight feet, and positioned rails along a new fence line.

Vaughn, who hopes to study business administration at University of North Florida, said the hardest part of his project was managing the volunteers and discovering “what kind of leader I had to be.” With a work crew made up of men and women older than him and Boy Scouts younger than him, he had to learn what leadership techniques worked effectively with each group.

“I wanted to get it done right and fast, but I didn’t want to be a dictator. With the younger guys in the troop, I had to ride them pretty hard and remind them that it was not play time,” Vaugh said.

Most of those who worked on the fence attended Vaughn’s Eagle Scout ceremony June 5 in the chapel at FBCH. The event honored not only Vaughn’s accomplishments in his seven years of scouting, but also the faithfulness of family members and Scout leaders who prodded him to complete the ultimate Scout rank.

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