Eagle Scout installs game shelves at retirement center

By Sara Bruestle | Jan 08, 2014
Courtesy of: Rich Davis Residents at Harbour Pointe Retirement Marcella Larson and Darlene Bruggeman play a block-stacking game called Bandu. The game was donated as part of Spencer Davis’ (at left) Eagle Scout project.

Spencer Davis viewed the feat of earning his Eagle Scout rank as he does the board games he plays – a competition to be won.

Spencer, a sophomore at Kamiak High School, completed all of the requirements on Nov. 21, three years before his 18th birthday, the deadline for achieving scouting’s highest award.

He “beat” his brother Quentin Davis, now 19, by earning his Eagle in about a third of the time.

“I wanted to earn my Eagle sooner than later but, to be honest, I wanted to beat my brother, time wise,” Spencer said. “It was kind of competition between me and my brother.”

His Court of Honor ceremony was held Dec. 26 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Spencer is from Mukilteo Troop 7.

“It’s wonderful,” said Rich Davis, Spencer’s dad and committee chair for the troop. “He’s had a great attitude about scouting and he’s very responsible.

“This is just the culmination of his willingness to serve and participate and show up.”

There are seven requirements – including 21 merit badges, a service project and six months in a leadership role – before scouts may become an Eagle Scout.

For his service project, Spencer and about 28 volunteers installed two shelves in the recreation room at Harbour Pointe Retirement and Assisted Living Center and filled them with 51 board games for residents to play with.

Spencer and other scouts also taught residents how to play the games during two Game Nights.

Spencer led the project. The shelves were built at a discount by a fellow congregate of the Mormon church. Spencer helped design, stain and install the shelves.

The shelves are 6 feet tall, 8 feet wide and 1 1/2 feet deep. They are designed to have a special lip so that games don’t slide off.

Spencer collected games that would be fun, easy to learn, stimulate residents’ minds and help with dexterity, such as Sequence, No Thanks, Blockus and Ticket to Ride.

“While he was building the shelves, we had Game Nights of our own where the volunteers came to my house and we helped teach them the games ... so they were comfortable enough to teach another person,” Spencer said.

It took about 121 man-hours to complete the project. It was paid for by $350 in donations, not including about 20 games that were donated.

With the shelves installation, a smaller shelf was moved to another room, and the games it held were transferred to the new shelves.

“It was really a great addition he made,” Rich Davis said of his son’s project. “Board games provide a real way to interact socially and stimulate the mind and opposed to numbing out in front of the TV.”

Spencer, of Mukilteo, actually has 28 merit badges, seven more than required. Each additional five merit badges up to 100 earns him a palm award. He has one palm, but wants to earn all 20 of them.

He also served as senior patrol leader of his troop, helping out during troop outings and coaching the other boys in scouting. He said the experience helped prepare him for his Eagle project.

In search of a project, he toured Harbour Pointe Retirement with Activity Director Karen Mathews.

When she showed him the recreation room, that’s when he saw their shelf of board games.

“I just wanted to give them more of a variety of games to play,” Spencer said. “The first thing that pops into my mind is Bingo, and I know that’s fun the first few times, but not after 20-30 times.”

He said his favorite part of the project was seeing the reactions of the residents.

“Residents were laughing and smiling” while playing the games, he said. “Even on your worst day, they could bring a smile to you. They were just so happy.”

Spencer, like his dad, is a board game fanatic. He likes to play games with his dad in their game room that holds a collection of more than 1,000 games. His favorite game is called Dungeon Fighter.

“I thought it was wonderful that he chose us for his project,” Mathews said. “He took great care in coming in and measuring and staining the bookshelves to match. I was very impressed with him.”

She said the residents now meet once a month to learn a new game.

Spencer said his brother’s quick rank up to Eagle by age 15 motivated him to do the same – but he wanted to do it even quicker. While it took Quentin more than a year to do his Eagle project, Spencer finished in about four months.

Quentin Davis, who graduated from Kamiak in 2012, said he is proud of his brother for earning his Eagle rank so soon. Quentin’s Eagle Scout project involved building 10 portable fire pits for Cascade Park.

“I guess you could say I have the bragging rights to say I won,” Spencer said, adding that Quentin was a big help.

“He was really impressed and supportive of my Eagle project. He was one of the biggest ones to help me out.”

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