Eagle Scout’s final project benefits local nonprofit, Guided Hope

Aaron Carlson signs one of the benches he built for his Eagle Scout project and donated to Guided Hope for use during their Round-up events. Courtesy of Guided Hope

Aaron Carlson signs one of the benches he built for his Eagle Scout project and donated to Guided Hope for use during their Round-up events.
Courtesy of Guided Hope

By Katie Harris
The Surveyor

After 11 years in scouting, Aaron Carlson was ready to take on his final project, the one that would help him achieve the highest rank in Boy Scouts, the Eagle.

“I got my Life Scout last year, which meant I could start working on my Eagle,” said 17-year-old Carlson. I needed to find a project and my mom knows Mrs. Scoma and introduced me to her.”

Kaarin Scoma, founder and executive director of Guided Hope, was thrilled to hear of Carlson’s interest.

“As a non-profit ranch we always have jobs that need to be done,” she said. “We consider ourselves so fortunate that Aaron and his family care this much about our community and were willing to help us out.”

Guided Hope, a faith-based working ranch that welcomes guests in need of healing and wellness, gave Carlson a list of jobs that might work for his project, and he chose one based on the criteria for the Eagle Scout program.

“The project Aaron chose was to make benches for us,” said Scoma. “We have groups of all different sizes that come out to Guided Hope and we’ve never had real seating– we’ve always sat on bales of hay.”

Guy and Kaarin Scoma, founders of Guided Hope, enjoy a moment of relaxation with Eagle Scout Aaron Carlson on one of the new benches he built for the ranch. The benches were part of Carlson’s Eagle Scout project. Photo courtesy of Guided Hope

Guy and Kaarin Scoma, founders of Guided Hope, enjoy a moment of relaxation with Eagle Scout Aaron Carlson on one of the new benches he built for the ranch. The benches were part of Carlson’s Eagle Scout project.
Photo courtesy of Guided Hope

Carlson looked over several sets of plans and, together with the Scomas, found one for a bench that could also be used as a picnic table that would fit their needs best.

“Finding the plans, purchasing the lumber, building the benches, and delivering them took me about 40 hours in all, plus another 40 hours in labor from 10 volunteers who helped me,” said Carlson.

Many of those who offered to help were Guided Hope volunteers who heard about Carlson’s project and wanted to get involved.

Carlson said, seeing the looks on the Scomas’ faces when he delivered the benches was the most rewarding part of the project.

“They looked really happy and seemed impressed that the benches turned out really nice,” he said. “We’ve quadrupled the amount of seating around their arena, and I think it will be super helpful with their events.”

Scoma’s husband Guy was excited by the multi-functionality of the benches. “We can use them for eating around and having fellowship together,” he said. “We put them to use right away!”

Carlson lives between Berthoud and Longmont and completed the scouting program in Lafayette. He recently began taking classes at Front Range Community College after graduating through a home school program last year. Although he’s unsure what he wants to do with his future, the skills he’s learned through scouting are sure to help him on whatever path he chooses.

“Leadership and outdoor skills have been the two skills that have helped me the most,” he said.