Making a Better Place

August 17, 2017

Alex Bower searched for a good Eagle Scout project this summer and he immediately thought of Galilee—the church he has been attending since he was four years old. In scouts, like in the church, Alex benefited from the work and the experience of those who had gone before.

In this case, “before” was fellow Boy Scout and Galilee member, Kevin Chiang, who gifted the church with a semi-circle of wooden benches last year.

“Kevin made an amphitheater with benches behind the church for his Eagle Scout project,” explains Alex. “I got the idea to add a fire pit and patio to the front of Kevin’s project. The fire pit occurred to me because I saw the Youth Group use a portable fire pit and I thought they could use something better.”

Alex and his mom, Kelly Bower, in Montana. They traveled by train this summer. 

Alex is seventeen years old and he and his younger brother Jack attend Potomac Falls High School. Alex says his favorite subject is probably history. He likes mountain biking and camping, or just being outdoors.

“My favorite part of scouts is the camp-outs and going to see cool places.  So the fire pit is a way to share the experience of a campfire while attaining my goal in scouting: to make Eagle Scout. That’s been an ambition since I was a Tiger Cub in first grade.”

Alex worked with Jim Cox of the Galilee Trustees to identify a project to benefit the church. “Fortunately, I have a good plan and can rely on a crew of volunteers,” says Alex.  “Scouts from my troop and other troops are lending support, as well as some friends who are not scouts. But I could always use more help.”

You can view the fire pit and patio plan and make a donation for the cost of materials at Alex’s Go Fund Me page. Work will begin on the 26th of this month behind the church, so email the Trustees if you would like to help—or just stop by and check it out.

Alex’s plan for the patio and fire pit. He’ll use large paving stones to make the patio.

This project is by no means Alex’s first act of service on behalf of Galilee. Two years ago, he and some other youth installed flower beds around the church. It was a big undertaking, but nothing new to Alex or his family. Kelly Bower, Alex’s mom, is also active in the church.

“When the boys were in grade school and middle school, I taught Sunday School,” says Kelly. “I really enjoyed teaching the younger kids alongside other parents. It’s important to me that Alex, Jack, and I attend church so that I can continue to strengthen my faith, they can build their faith, and we are together in an environment that encourages service, because that’s one of the ways we remain faithful to God.”

“I appreciate having Galilee as our church family,” Kelly says. “Galilee was the second church we tried shortly after we came from Texas, where I had been posted in my career at the Department of Defense, and where I adopted both Alex and Jack. We moved to Virginia to be closer to family. In that regard, Galilee just felt right.”

“I’m currently a member of the Board of Trustees, trying to be as active as possible which isn’t easy with so many family priorities. The boys have their scout troop and sporting events. We like to camp and do other outdoor activities. We’re always looking for a new adventure or road trip while visiting family and friends around the country.”

Kelly Bower with her sons, Jack (15) and Alex (17).

Kelly says that Alex has worked very hard on fire pit/patio project, and the real work has yet to begin.

“Any Eagle Scout project is as much about the process, or journey, as it is about the final product,” she explains. “I think the experience, although hard, has been a good one for Alex.”

It certainly is solid experience for Alex, who has two years of high school ahead of him and hasn’t quite decided what career he will pursue after that. So what is Alex’s hope for the project he’s working on?

“I hope the project gives people a place to meet and hang out and have fun. I hope it gives Pastor Jason a better place for Easter Sunrise Service.”

Making a better place: that’s service in a nutshell.