SMITHTON — Thomas Evans is a young man with a goal in mind. The Smithton senior is working to obtain his Eagle Scout Award but that is not his ultimate desire — Evans wants to give back to others for all he has been given in his life.
Thomas is a member of Scout Troop 300 of the Boys Scouts and a member of the Boys & Girls Club of West Central Missouri and Thomas is extremely grateful to those two organizations.
“The Scouts and the Boys & Girls Club have really helped me to grow and become the person who I am today,” Thomas said. “They have really helped me to learn and develop and have really influenced my life.”
Thomas is hoping to pay those organizations back as well as the children in the community by hosting a free carnival from 4 to 6 p.m. May 11 at the Smithton School soccer field.
“I’ve really been thinking about this idea since my uncle (Gerald Evans), who is my scout master, plopped down a book in front of my face about becoming an Eagle Scout,” Evans said. “I really have one word to describe the carnival: ‘water.’
“Actually you better make that two words: ‘water and ducks,’ Evans added with a smile. “There will be lots of water, lots of ducks and lots of duck-themed games.”
Evans said he is making most of the games himself, but there will also be a bounce house and a modified pinewood derby where the participants will race Hot Wheels and Match Box cars.
“We’ll have a duck pond but we have a really neat game where the ducks are in a piece of guttering and the kids have to move the ducks along by squirting water at them with water guns,” Evans said. “We’ve got a lot of really neat games for them and a lot of cool prizes too.
“Everyone is going to get 10 free game tickets,” Evans added. “With scouts the goal isn’t to make money so I don’t want to charge people to play the games.
Evans added that he wants everyone to have the opportunity to play each game during the event.
“I’m doing this as my community service project for my Eagle Scout Award but just because it’s community service doesn’t mean you have to make any money, it’s just a way for me to say thank you,” Evans said.
“A lot of people have helped me with this and every scout who wants to become an Eagle Scout has to participate and help with another project,” he added. “One of my really good friends, Bryce Chalafant, who is also trying to become an Eagle Scout, has really been a big help. We’ve been helping each other with ideas for our projects.”
Working with others and learning how to manage others is one of the lessons Evans has learned through both Scouting and the Boys & Girls Club.
Evans started scouting at 15 and became a member of the Boys & Girls Club Smithton Site when he was in seventh grade.
“Thomas has been in the Club since seventh grade and has grown in leaps and bounds,” said Emily Jarrett, communications coordinator for the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri. “He really has turned into a model Club kid.”
“Both of the programs have really helped me become more responsible and have helped me learn how to work with others,” Evans said. “I tutor the younger kids at the club now as part of my A+ requirements for college and I have tried to help with a lot of programs in the community with the Torch Club through the Boys & Girls Club.
Evans added that both programs have helped develop his confidence and his life skills.
“I’ve been accepted in the project Search Program at (State Fair Community College), which is an internship program where they will teach me job skills and how to maintain a job once I graduate from college,” Evans said. “This summer I’m going to work in their voc-rehab program through the Center for Human Services at the college.
“I’m really thankful to (Smithton Superintendent) Dr. (Matt) Teeter who said I could use the soccer field for this and everyone else who has helped me, especially Miss Judy (Moore, Boys & Girls Club Smithton Site manager),” Evans added. “She is really the best site manager there is.”
Evans added that he would finalize all of the plans for the event at his next scout meeting April 26, adding that he did have a rain date in mind.
“I don’t think a lot of the kids want to play water games in the rain,” Evans said with a laugh. “”I’m hoping for a nice day and that everyone comes and has a good time.
“I’m just really happy to get to do this and I hope I can influence others to give back too,” Evans said. “I really want to do something for the Scouts and the Boys & Girls Club that have given back to me so much in my life.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484