The Shrewsbury Community Garden was established a year ago by dedicated volunteers to beautify their community. The gardeners would bring all their own equipment tools to work the gardens; some would get lost or rust outside. Now, thanks to a volunteer project coordinated and supervised by Red Bank Regional (RBR) student Matthew Kowalski for his Eagle Scout Rank, the volunteers have a new shed to house their equipment.
“We knew there was a great need for this project from people on the Shrewsbury Council, and the management and supervising skills made it a perfect project for an Eagle Scout,” Matt Kowalski explains.
Matt planned the project for nine months, meeting with the Garden Committee for their input on the design and materials. After school, Matt and his fellow Troop 50 volunteer scouts and adult leaders constructed the shed in one month’s time. He also relied on his scout advisor and an assistant scoutmaster with construction experience for guidance.
Matt has been in scouting since age 6. He has been fortunate to share that experience with his dad who served as his troop leader. He considers a recent two-week back-packing wilderness trip to Philmont Scout Reservation through the rugged New Mexico terrain the highlight of his scouting career, calling it “a once in a lifetime experience.”
He states, “I love scouting for the all the many opportunities it gave me in learning new skills and survivorship, and doing things I never thought I would do.”
Matt is also an excellent student who takes challenging courses at RBR’s Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences; he has made the honor roll numerous times in his high school career. He has a passion for bowling and history, is captain of the RBR bowling team, and would also like to teach history someday. In preparation for the latter, he recently completed a special program at RBR called Tomorrow’s Teachers which included a classroom field observation earning him both high school and college credit.
Matt comments, “One of the reasons I got involved in scouting was to learn leadership skills, which I think is perfect for teaching,”
Although he will be going to college next year to pursue his teaching career, Matt states, “I wouldn’t mind coming back to teach a merit badge when I can. It (scouting) was such an important part of my life; I want to give back.”