Nathan Koehler, 17, of Collegeville, thought globally when it came to picking an Eagle Scout Project.
A Boy Scout since fifth grade with Troop 113, Trappe PA, Koehler decided to work with the non-profit Peace Passers to collect new and used soccer equipment. The organization redistributes the equipment to communities around the world where a soccer ball, jersey or a pair of cleats may be hard to find.
Koehler witnessed firsthand how the little things in life, like proper sports gear, can have a huge impact. The Perkiomen Valley High School senior visited Africa with his family three years ago and saw the children’s joy while playing soccer.
“My trip to Africa helped me understand the positive impact something as small as a soccer ball can have on someone,” he said.
His love for soccer was his main inspiration for the project, though. “Playing soccer is one of my favorite things to do,” Koehler said. “I know that if I can give the joy of soccer to kids around the world, especially in places where kids can count their joys on one hand, then I’m doing something worthwhile and certainly fulfilling the Eagle Scout requirements.”
Those requirements include organizing and leading a service project that benefits the community – in Koehler’s case, communities around the world. Another project requirement is leading other volunteers. Koehler has been working with fellow Scouts to distribute flyers, pile up donated equipment, clean equipment and pack the donated items to be sent to Peace Passers.
“In many places around the world, a soccer ball is an item as coveted as precious jewels. Here in suburban Pennsylvania, we might have half a dozen in our garage and not think twice about it,” Koehler said.
If interested in donating to Koehler’s project, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also drop off items at 502 Brighton Road, Collegeville or St. Luke’s UCC Church at 200 West Main Street, Trappe. Items will be collected through September 8, 2013.