Initial project snafu teaches Eagle Scout big lesson

Parker Joyce

Parker Joyce

Although an unexpected hitch derailed his first final project, San Marco’s Parker Joyce was able to begin again, learning valuable business lessons on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout.

Prior to his 18th birthday, Joyce, a senior at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville, earned the Boy Scouts’ coveted Eagle Scout rank and admission into the Order of the Arrow, the Boy Scouts of America National Honor Society.

Joyce had gotten his start in Scouting as a first grader with Pack 477 at San Jose Episcopal Day School. In 2011, he crossed over to Troop 136 at All Saints Episcopal Church, where he advanced through seven ranks of Scouting, earning 31 merit badges while holding leadership positions each year.

Boy Scouts seeking to earn Eagle rank must develop and lead a project that benefits the community before their 18th birthday. Joyce’s first effort was to design and build a meditation labyrinth for the students of the North Florida School of Special Education.

“Early on, I met with a local stone company and received a generous donation of stones to build the labyrinth,” he explained, noting it was his intention to install the stones four months later after raising money for other project costs and rowing during the busy regatta season for the Episcopal team.

“When the season was over, I was ready to install my project, however, a few difficulties arose giving me the opportunity to learn many important business lessons,” he said. “The school wanted me to move my project to a different parcel of land and install it following my 18th birthday, which would not work. Also, the stones had been sold,” he explained.

Husting to find another project he could complete under the wire, Joyce met with North Florida School of Special Education Executive Director Sally Hazelip.

“We looked at several projects on her wish list, and I told her I would complete her most pressing project,” he said. “Turns out, the school’s urban organic farm, Berry Good Farms, needed mint gardens to contain and grow the mint used in the school’s teaching kitchen and food truck. I built two four-tier mint gardens adjacent to the farm’s greenhouse.”

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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