Buddy Bench, an Eagle Scout project geared on Bully Awarness
Carson Humphrey knows there is no worse feeling as a child than thinking you do not have any friends or do not belong. Going to school can be a nightmare if you feel like you will be left out or in need of a friend. ‘I know I’ve gone through this and I didn’t want other kids to have to feel that way,’ he told us. As a junior at Stillwater Area High School, Carson is currently completing his Eagle Scout Project. This project asks Scouts to create something personal to them that will benefit their community and Carson began his search for a positive addition to bring kids together in their schools. While researching, he stumbled upon a ‘Buddy Bench,’ a piece of equipment offered by Wabash Valley Manufacturing of Silver Lake, IN. This bench may appear similar to most, but it has a unique feature and purpose. The bench comes complete with the words ‘BUDDY BENCH’ on it, with the idea that anyone in need of a buddy can sit here until they are joined by a friend. ‘It’s a great way to cultivate new relationships and help students get acquainted with their peers,’ Wabash Valley says. Carson mentioned that he especially thought it would be a nice idea for students who are new to a school, as it’s never easy making new friends.
Today, Carson is avidly working with the Oak Park Height Elementary and has received permission so far from the school to add a Buddy Bench to the location. Once approval is granted from the district, he plans to coordinate with the school’s grounds crew & maintenance team to see when he can install the structure. The next step is finding creative ways to finance the new addition. Beyond donations from friends & family, Carson plans to work with the school’s PTA to see if they would have any funding. St Croix Recreation plans to assist with installation and will discount the bench for the cause. If all goes well, the bench will be part of the landscape come September, 2015.