Student’s Eagle Scout Project Improves Landscaping

Avalon senior Merlin Shorb is an Eagle Scout.

Avalon junior Merlin Shorb

An Avalon junior built a retaining wall Oct. 12 at First Baptist Church to prevent erosion as an Eagle Scout project.

Merlin Shorb, 18, completed the project with assistance from volunteers consisting of school friends, family members and his scout troop.

Shorb constructed the wall by a stairway on the far side of the church where foot traffic is heavy.

Erosion had swept away grass, left ruts and deposited dirt in the high school basketball area. Students notoriously skip the steps and run down the hill instead.

The group finished the project four hours ahead of schedule despite weather related issues from earlier in the week. The day of the project also saw rain during certain periods.

“It rained off and on, but nothing super heavy like we had that week,” said Robert Gleason, an Avalon student and project volunteer.

Administrators at The Avalon School along with staff from the First Baptist Church of Gaithersburg signed off on the project based on the environmental benefits.

“I like it [because] I think it will help with the erosion problem, protect the computer line down there and help the place look better,” said Avalon Headmaster Kevin Davern. “I’m very grateful to Merlin for doing his project.”

The completion brought Shorb closer to his goal of becoming an Eagle Scout. Eagle Scout is the highest rank of The Boys Scout of America.

Next, his scout career and accomplishments go in front of a board review to determine his merits.

Like past Avalonians, Shorb’s name will appear on Avalon School’s Eagle Scout plaque which is displayed in the main hallway.

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