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Cleaning flagpole provides Thompson path to Eagle Scout

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By Kayla Swanson

 Seth Thompson saw his Eagle Scout project as an opportunity to help his school. 

The 17-year-old Bullitt East senior said during football practices he would see how empty the area around the flagpole near the football field looked and saw trash around it. 

“I had to look at it every day,” Thompson said. “I saw how messy it was.”

Thompson, who is the son of Brian and LaDonna Thompson, renovated and cleaned up the area around the flagpole in March 2010. 

With the help of Thompson’s parents, his brother Chris, his uncle Donnie Thompson and his dad’s friend Tony Walls, Thompson poured concrete around the flagpole, laid down fresh mulch and planted new plants and flowers provided by the horticulture department of a prison his mom worked at. 

The hardest part of the project, Thompson said, was planting the flowers and putting the mulch down.

“It was the most time consuming,” he said.

Thompson’s scoutmaster, Carl Carter, said the project was something that needed to be done.

“Anytime you can do something that sets off the American flag, that’s very positive in my eyes,” Carter said.

Jacob Franklin, an Eagle Scout from Thompson’s troop, said the renovations to the area around the flagpole gave the school a more patriotic feel.

“Beforehand, at the football games, it was just there, but now people notice it,” Franklin said. 

Once every four months, Thompson said he tries to check on the area around the flagpole to make sure it stays nice.

Thompson started scouting at six years old, he said, because his dad suggested he should do it. 

“I stuck with it because I like it and had fun camping and being with friends,” he said. 

Being able to experience the outdoors is also one of the reasons Thompson likes scouting, he said. 

“It’s an opportunity for you to camp places you can’t normally camp,” he said. 

A hiking trip at Red River Gorge, Thompson said, is one of his more memorable outdoor experiences. 

Thompson said it was getting dark and he and other Scouts were tired and as a result, got lost. However, some Scouts had already completed the hike and were waiting in cars and were able to honk the car horns to lead them in the right direction.

“It took a lot longer than we expected,” he said. “We don’t hike very much at all, mainly camp.” 

Thompson received his Eagle Scout rank in January 2013 and had a ceremony celebrating his achievement in May 2013. 

“Scouting is very worth the experience,” he said.