The gateway to the outdoor Stations of the Cross at St. Jude Catholic Church is now graced with a prayer garden, thanks to the Eagle Scout service project of parishioner Chad Supple. Set in a tranquil wooded area behind the church, the garden features an 8-foot-tall cross, a statue on a pedestal, four benches, plants and ground cover and is outlined by large rocks.
Supple raised $1,700 for the project and was assisted by fellow members of Beech Grove Troop 108, friends and family members. “It was a lot of work,” said Supple, a Beech Grove High School senior who celebrated his 18th birthday Nov. 7, “but I enjoyed doing it, and I liked the way it turned out.
When I approached the pastor about a possible project, he recommended a garden to complement the Stations of the Cross,” which was the Eagle project of Roncalli junior Benjamin Pohovey.
“Scouting has been a great experience,” Supple said. “The outings are awesome and so are the friendships that are formed. I have learned a great deal – most importantly – don’t ever give up.”
While the 11-year Scout is not yet an official Eagle Scout – he is awaiting a review board to OK his project – his dad, Jake Supple, has no doubt that his son will soon attain Scouting’s highest honor, which is achieved by only 4 percent of Scouts. “
I am very proud of his accomplishment,” said Mr. Supple, who was a Cub Scout before sports got in the way. Chad was introduced to Scouting as a first-grader during a back-to-school night program when the family, which includes mom Meredith, lived in Battle Ground, Ind., which is northwest of Lafayette.
“Becoming an Eagle Scout requires a lot of effort, but once you get started it goes pretty quick,” Supple said. In addition to the planning, developing and giving leadership to others throughout the project, Eagles Scouts must earn at least 21 merit badges and demonstrate Scout spirit and commitment to duty, said 32-year Scoutmaster Phil Sturm.
“Chad provides good leadership; he is an excellent troop leader, one of the best I have ever had.” In keeping with part of the “Scout Oath” to help other people at all times, Supple frequently helped Lisa Chilton, his next-door neighbor, carry in her groceries when her leg was hurt.
“Chad is a nice kid; he is always helping people in the neighborhood,” Chilton said. “With everything that’s going on in today’s world, it’s refreshing to see a kid like Chad. It was a huge project that he undertook at the church, and it sure looks nice from the pictures I’ve seen.”
As far as Supple’s college plans are concerned, he’s undecided but leaning toward studying pre-engineering at Ivy Tech, where his father is honing his industrial technology skills as an employee of Citizens Thermo.
“I wish I would have been as dedicated to my studies in high school as I am now,” laughed Mr. Supple. Outside of Scouting, Supple likes to shoot his guns and hunt. “Pheasant hunting is my favorite, and I like to deer hunt. I like to consider myself a good shot.”