Joining the Boy Scouts as a youngster was “just another thing my mom put me in” for Chandler Morrill of Placerville, but a half-dozen years later he proudly attended his Court of Honor on March 8, having earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
Chandler’s project that topped off the years of Scouting that led to merit badges and other accomplishments was to clear and landscape a hillside at Calvary Chapel in Placerville, the church the 17-year-old attends.
“I took an undeveloped, scruffy looking hillside and cleared, landscaped and put in flowering plum trees that were generously donated by Claude Dennis,” said Chandler, adding that Dennis may be familiar to readers who spot him selling his trees at the Saturday morning farmers market in Placerville. At the base of the plum trees Chandler placed a decorated stone retaining wall.
The teen was blessed with help from several other Scouts and adult leaders from Troop 401 in Shingle Springs and he added that his family was supportive as well.
“I could not have reached the rank of Eagle Scout if it wasn’t for my mom, Lori Morrill,” said Chandler. “She is the one person who stands out above the rest who helped me. She was the backbone of support I needed.” Chandler’s dad, David, also contributed plenty of hours to the undertaking.
The new Eagle Scout said because his project was on the grounds of the church he attends, it was even more rewarding to accomplish the improvement to the grounds.
“I wanted to do this project because I was familiar with the site and with its beneficiaries,” he explained. “I like doing things for other people but it is icing on the cake to do nice things for people you know.”
Also at Calvary Chapel, Chandler has twice helped with the church’s annual Vacation Bible School as a guide and recreational assistant, helping kids enjoy fun programs there.
He also helps run the sound booth at Calvary, working from behind the scenes to make sure all the microphones are working properly so that the “pastor has good tone and the music from the worship team is playing smoothly.”
Other community oriented enterprises found Chandler teaching free PE classes to home-schooled kids, working with 20 to 30 students once a week at Lions Park in Placerville.
Chandler, a lifetime resident of Placerville, added that the biggest challenge faced in bringing the landscaping project to fruition was that it was accomplished on a very steep hillside at the church.
Chandler joined the Scouts at age 10, as a Webelo. One of his most memorable experiences occurred just three years ago, when he attended Camp Wolfeboro and participated in an overnight stay in the woods with fellow Scouts, requiring them to keep a fire burning all night and entailing a “grueling hike” the next morning. As a result, he earned “Pioneer” ranking at that camp.
That’s just one of the activities that brought enjoyment over the last six or seven years in Scouting, said Chandler.
“I enjoyed the activities, camp-outs and adventures my troop dived into. I would recommend Scouting for any youngster interested but my one piece of advice to them would be: Make sure you bring a rain jacket even when it is not supposed to rain!”
Chandler, who has been home-schooled and is in his senior year of high school, will be graduating with honors from the American Christian Academy in California. After high school he plans to take courses to complete general education requirements for college, then hopes to be accepted to Liberty University for online study. He would like to major in criminal justice with a possible career in federal Homeland Security.
Other ambitions include “becoming a better golfer, fixing up Dad’s old Datsun 280Z and writing music.”
His “grand ambition,” he said, is to “have faith in the Lord to direct my life.”