Bikes for the World

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Eagle Scout Leaders

While most of BfW was tucked away in the DC Convention Center this past weekend enjoying Greenfest, at least one local collection was still in full swing. Alex Tatem chose BfW as his Eagle scout leadership project and the location was his place of employment BfW partner, City Bikes in Chevy Chase. 

Alex Tatem: "My position is sales which I love because I am on the front line sharing my passion of riding with a huge range of different types of bikers. There is nothing better than helping someone find their perfect bike and getting them out on the roads…. or trails."

Courtesy Alex Tatem
This was a three-way partnership that proved to be a huge success with Alex netting about 90 bikes. Unlike most scouts, Alex even orchestrated the delivery of the bikes to BfW's storage site at King Farm in Rockville.

Alex Tatem: "The great part about the collection was before it even started I had about 25 bikes. This was very useful because right when the volunteers arrived they could start working. Having my volunteers constantly busy really moved the collection on smoothly and helped when all the other bikes started to flow in a lot faster. I had the trailers and vans open in the parking lot. I had people constantly loading the vans and trailers the whole time and had someone at the trailers approving the bikes before they were put in."

We at BfW couldn't ask for anything more! Every weekend BfW partners with community organizations from schools, faith groups, government organizations, bikes shops...We have literally hundreds of partners throughout the year who make our collections a huge success.

Nick Bielamowicz troop 1916 Eagle project
One we are particularly proud of is Eagle scouts. The term 'Eagle scout' is most synonymous with 'leadership' and BfW is a perfect choice for an Eagle scout project.Over the last eight years BfW has helped over 60 scouts earn the distinction of Eagle scout.

What we demand at Bikes for the World in managing a collection perfectly matches the requirements laid out in the Eagle Scout service project workbook. Some of those criteria are managing a dynamic, unpredictable public event, publicity, and training and overseeing a volunteer workforce, Keith Oberg Director Bikes for the World.

Chris Richards Eagle project troop 167
BfW worked with Chris Richards in 2005 with his Eagle scout project. Chris collected 63 bikes at the REI in Baileys Crossroads. Those bikes were included in a one time shipment to Haiti. Richards went on to Dickinson College and is now the Digital Marketing Strategist for Fanpage Toolkit.

Chris Richards, Eagle scout and former BfW collection manager: "The collection was a great project because it put me in a position to coordinate and lead a very hands on event. I remember feeling overwhelmed by some of the planning at the time, but in reality, it was great preparation for the amount of planning some work required in college and beyond in the work force. Additionally, it sparked my interest in efforts to behave in a more sustainable manner. Eventually, during school at Dickinson College, I became very involved in their campus sustainability programs, helping to educate the student body on what the school was doing to be "greener." Looking back, the time coordinating work with Bikes for the World probably implanted that desire in me to see things put to good use through recycling and reusing."

Thomas Tribble troop 1983
 BfW most recently worked with Senthil Kannan and Thomas Tribble both of troop 1983, Nick Bielamowicz troop 1916, and Alex Tatum troop 255. Between the four scouts, the young men collected 335 bikes that will be sent overseas and change many lives.

All the scouts agreed that it was a rewarding service project and had fun completing it. Senthil tells BfW that it was pretty easy (see the video below).

More from Richards:
"...many Eagle projects seem to emphasize several days of physical work, this one was unique in that I was able to complete much of the work on that one day at REI, while the work leading up to it, and hours of planning were equally as valuable and certainly important. In that sense, I think the collection better prepared me for college and professional life than the usual trail cleaning or what have you, as most things are not physical, but organizational in nature once you move past the days of scouts."

Senthil Kannan, troop 1983, completed his Eagle scout project with BfW in 2012 at the REI in Fairfax:

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