Scout installs flagpole to earn Eagle Scout honor


Erwin Lazardi (right) and his father, Eduardo Lazardi who is a lieutenant colonel with a lengthy and distinguished military career, along with others worked to create a base for the flagpole last weekend.

HANCOCK COUNTY — After nearly 12 years of being a member of the Boy Scouts of America, Erwin Lazardi, a senior at New Palestine High School, is hoping to finish out his time in Boy Scout Troop 244 by earning his Eagle Scout Badge.

Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Since its inception in 1911, only four percent of Scouts have earned this rank after a lengthy review process. To earn an Eagle badge, a scout must climb seven scouting ranks, earn 21 different merit badges, complete an Eagle Service Project, become a leader within their troop and prepare their final Eagle Scout Binder.

“Someone recommended I touch base with the Boys and Girls Club to see if they needed any projects done so I went over there and they said they really needed a flagpole, so that became my project,” Erwin said.

Erwin is installing a flagpole for the Hancock County Boys and Girls Club in Greenfield and hopes to have enough money left over to replace some old carpeting in the building and even help supply funds to purchase meals for the boys and girls who take part in the program.

Erwin noted it’s been a real learning experience trying to organize the project, raise funds and reaching out to the community to see who needed help and who could offer to support the project.

“It was really hard at the beginning just to find the right people to talk to,” Erwin said. “It was hard to learn about how to install a flagpole … My dad and I watched a lot of videos on how to do that.”

He also learned how expensive flagpoles are ($1,000) plus he needed another $500 just to ship the flagpole — not to mention the money needed for the cement and equipment needed to create the flagpole base.

Recently, Erwin, his father, Eduardo Lazardi who is a lieutenant colonel with a lengthy and distinguished military career, troop members and American Legion Post 119 and Veterans of Foreign Wars member Winston Hammons gathered at the Boys and Girls Club, 715 E Lincoln St., Greenfield, where they built a concrete base where the flagpole will be installed.

“Erwin and the boys, they did all work with their dads, pouring 800 pounds of concrete for the pole,” Hammons said. “They did a really good job.”

Hammons and his American Legion Post 119 members supported Erwin and the Eagle Scout project after Erwin and his father came to speak with them about fundraising.

Hammons, who has had some experience working on an Eagle Scout project before with his own grandson, said he wanted to help Erwin all he could because he knew how difficult it was to raise funds and complete all the work needed to earn an Eagle Scout Badge.

“I could see they needed some help and was glad to jump in and help out with this project,” Hammons said.

Officials with Greenfield Power and Light get credit for actually setting the pole with specialized equipment once the base work was done by Erwin, Hammons said. Erwin and officials from the Boys and Girls Club plan to have an official Flagpole Dedication Ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, on Veterans Day and have invited the community to attend.

Chantel Fowler, chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hancock County, said they are so honored and excited that Erwin chose The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hancock County for his Eagle Scout project.

“This project ended up being a bit larger than I think he originally expected, but he stuck with it and did the work,” Fowler said. “The community has rallied with him and encouraged and helped where they could, and it really has been a great experience to be a part of and to watch.”

Fowler noted the project brings a smile to her face when she thinks of the flagpole, as it is one they have wanted for years.

Erwin noted Hammons has been instrumental in helping him find the right people to talk with to help raise the funds and make sure the project gets done.

For the 18-year-old, who hopes to head to college where he plans to study biology after high school then join the military with hopes of eventually becoming a Park Ranger, he said earning an Eagle Scout Badge will be a great honor.

“It will be a culmination of almost 12 years of scouting,” Erwin said. “It’s the highest award and a very small percent of scouts actually get it so it’s kind to think I’m going to have it once we get this project done.”

Eagle Scout Project Group Sponsors:

Greenfield American Legion Post 119

Greenfield Veterans of Foreign Wars

Greenfield Sertoma Club

Greenfield Rotary Club

Greenfield FOP

Greenfield Power and Light Company

Greenfield Freemasonry