Teen builds prayer garden to earn Eagle Scout status

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 25, 2010

FERRIDAY — In the Boy Scout oath, scouts make a promise to do their duty for God and country. So when it came time for Tazman Stampley to do his Eagle Scout project, it made sense to dedicate it to God.

The 13-year-old scout at Troop 21 in Jonesville is building a prayer garden at his church, St. Patrick Catholic Church in Ferriday.

One of the requirements for an Eagle project is that it must be done in a place that can be accessed freely by the public and benefits a religious institution, school or the community at large.

“That’s why I decided to do it at the church I attend, and after talking to Father (Louis Sklar), I learned they wanted a prayer garden,” he said.

“I couldn’t think of a better place to do it.”

To do that, Stampley has gone about raising money, getting materials donated and planning what it would be.

The entire project will cost approximately $4,000, he said.

The plan is to build a concrete walkway from the street sidewalk to the back of the church rectory, and to have an expanded concreted area with benches. Some landscaping will follow.

His plans also include moving a statue of St. Therese that the church already has to the left of the garden, and placing a statue of Our Lady of Grace in the center, Stampley said.

Eventually, he wants to add a statue of St. Patrick, the church’s patron saint, to the right of the garden.

Stampley said he wants to be an Eagle Scout because — along with being the ultimate accomplishment as a Boy Scout — it will look good for his future resume.

“It is a good accomplishment, and I want to be an aeronautic engineer, so it is a good step toward that,” he said. “I want to be an aeronautic engineer because I like flying in planes, and I like taking things apart.”

But Stampley has another reason for wanting to be an Eagle, his grandmother Carol Norwood said.

“He has been invited to the 100th (anniversary of Boy Scouts) celebration in Washington, D.C., this summer, and he is bound and determined to be an Eagle Scout by then,” she said.

Stampley is a student at Monterey High School.