Blaine scout reaches highest rank with barbecue project


Blaine High School graduate Andrew Bullock became an eagle scout in June after installing barbecues in Marine Park. Photo by Carol Hogan.

By Carol Hogan

E.F. Schumacher wrote, “Eagles come in all shapes and sizes but you will recognize them by their attitudes.” He could have been writing about 2016 Blaine High School graduate Andrew Bullock, who in late June passed a board of review and soared into the highest status the Boy Scouts have to offer – Eagle Scout.

According to the official website of the Boy Scouts of America, only 5 percent of Boy Scouts are granted this rank.

Bullock, 18, came up through the ranks. First as a Cub Scout Bobcat, then Tiger Cub, Wolf, Bear, Webelos and Arrow of Light. He then crossed over to Boy Scouts and completed the seven ranks they require: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second-class, First-Class, Star and Life. Then, by passing his board of review in late June, he became an Eagle Scout.

Each ranking requires a project; the biggest is for Eagle Scout. This year, with the help of his older brother Alex, Bullock patiently analyzed and rejected several ideas. He finally settled on a plan that would benefit those who like to picnic in Blaine Marine Park. He would design, raise funds for and install two double and two single barbecues as improvements to the park. His plan also included securing permission from the city, after which he and local Boy Scouts and community volunteers would purchase and install the barbecues permanently near the picnic tables and shelters.

“At the time, fires and personal barbecues weren’t allowed in any of the city parks,” Bullock said. “But with these barbecues people would be able to cook in the park at the designated grill locations.”

He obtained permission from the city with a presentation to the Blaine Park and Cemetery Board, with the caveat that the barbecues be visible, hold a contained fire, and be securely installed for ease of cleaning and maintenance.

“I think it was beneficial for the city, to give them [an amenity]” Andrew said.

Next he reviewed costs. Once he established how much the barbecues and installation costs would be, he needed the approval of his scoutmaster and scout council to begin fundraising. When he received their approval, he composed an official fundraising letter and mailed it to family and friends last March.

During the physical installation in April, people walking by often commented on what a great addition they would be to the park, Bullock said. By the end of May the barbecues were a reality.

“After Memorial Day I checked the barbecues, and each one had ashes in them,” Andrew said. But Blaine’s Fourth of July celebration was the real test.

“They had a lot of ashes,” Bullock said. “They’d been used a lot. It makes me happy that my project is doing well.”

Bullock follows in the footsteps of his brother, Alex, who is also an Eagle Scout. While the two are extremely close, it’s his grandfather whom he hopes to emulate.

“My grandfather was in the Navy for 27 years and I will be following in his footsteps,” Bullock said proudly. After boot camp he hopes to enter either the electrical engineering or information technology field.

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