Eagle Scout projects don’t have to be a one-day service project done in a park.
They can become a legacy that lasts for years to come.
When 15-year-old Daniel Fanning was choosing what his Eagle Scout project was going to be, he thought about all the U.S. flags in Roy that had yet to be retired, he said.
So he took the initiative and made a U.S. flag retirement box out of an old blue mailbox, and placed it outside Roy City Hall.
“The flag retirement box is for when you can’t retire a flag because you don’t know how to, or you aren’t able to because of restrictions like a fire ban or your property is not allowing you to,” Fanning said.
Tracy Fanning, Daniel’s mom, said there was a real need for a U.S. flag retirement box in Roy.
“We didn’t have a (flag retirement box) in Roy, we don’t have one in Yelm,” Tracy said. “This way, our veterans, or somebody that has U.S. flags. can go to the town of Roy and deposit their older flags.”
But their journey doesn’t end with the flags winding up in that box.
“The Boy Scout troop — Troop 111 — and venture Crew 643 will do the ceremony to retire the flags,” Tracy said, adding that the boys will do this ceremony on the deposited flags.
Essentially, Daniel’s project has a lasting impact on Troop 111 and Crew 643, because it requires built-in service projects. Whenever the flag retirement box fills with flags, it is the boys’ responsibility to put them to rest.
At 15, Daniel still has a few years left in Boy Scouts of America, so one could assume that when he leaves, the project ends. However, Daniel said that Troop 111 and Crew 643 will carry on in his absence.
Before any of this could happen, though, Daniel had to find the right box. At first, he considered making the box out of wood, he said.
But one citizen of Roy made the decision process quite simple for Daniel, said Chris Fanning, Daniel’s dad.
“One of the gentlemen that works for the City of Roy as a volunteer, used to work for the post office,” Chris said. “He got a damaged mailbox and he donated it to the project.”
Chris said that is was amazing how the citizen could hold on to something like a damaged mailbox for so long, until just the right use for it was discovered.
Daniel had to sand the retirement box down, then mark out the areas to the painted in layers by Ken Bartells. He did this until he achieved the desired design, Daniel said. In the end, the mailbox was completely transformed into a U.S. flag retirement box, complete with stars and stripes of its own.
“We are going to take those flags, and give them a proper burial,” Daniel said.