Donovan Wallace recently completed his Eagle Scout project, which helped address a problem he first noticed several years ago while playing baseball at Waterloo Junior High School.
In his time on those teams, there was no protective barrier in front of either teams’ dugout, so he installed one.
“We didn’t have any fencing there, and foul balls would come into the dugout so you’d have to wear helmets and it would get really hot,” he recalled. “It was just a good idea all around because of the safety of the boys and a little bit of comfort, as well.”
A member of Troop 323 in Waterloo, Wallace has been in scouting for about 11 years.
The 16-year-old began working on his Eagle Scout project, which is the most difficult requirement for attaining the highest rank in Boy Scouts, about a year ago.
In that time, he completed myriad pages of paperwork and got approval from numerous individuals.
He was prepared to finally do the physical work around the end of March earlier this year, but the coronavirus pandemic brought the country to a standstill.
“Really, it was just a waiting game,” Wallace said.
Finally, on July 25, eight Boy Scouts and around that many adults spent six hours installing fencing in front of both dugouts and adding a second bench in the home team’s dugout.
That work came after Wallace and his father did some preparation work for the fencing earlier in the week.
“We had a pretty good turnout,” said Wallace, who estimated over 100 total work hours went into the project. “It went pretty smooth.”
The Waterloo School District paid for the materials.
Although he still has a few requirements left to complete, Wallace said it is a weight off his shoulders to have the project finished.
“It’s pretty relieving,” he said.
Once he earns the rank of Eagle Scout, Wallace said he plans to remain at least somewhat active in his troop.
After graduating high school, he plans to join the U.S. Air Force.