WILMINGTON — Worcester Boy Scout Spencer Walter prepared a donation of more than 300 toiletry baskets in his Eagle Scout project to be handed off to Wilmington’s iPods for Wounded Veterans. Walker is a senior at Doherty Memorial High School and a member of Boy Scout Troop 37 of Worcester.
Walter first saw the impact of the donations from IFWV made to veterans when he went to an iPods for Wounded Veterans event with his father, Ben Walter, who works at their sponsor company Hudson RPM. It was Spencer’s idea to reach out to Paul Cardello and ask how he could get involved with iPods and complete his Eagle Scout project.
“I wanted to do something that spoke to me,” he said.
Cardello explained to him what personal items veterans in hospitals that they visit regularly may need.
“What happens to them overseas can be quite traumatic, but this could brighten up their lives a little bit,” Walter continued.
After providing guidelines, Cardello became his beneficiary for the project but left the result up to Walter.
In order to become an Eagle Scout, a Boy Scout is required to fill out paperwork for their project explaining what it is, how they’ll do it, and how much it will cost. An important requirement, Walter explained, is demonstrating your leadership while contributing to your community.
The Boy Scout is assisted by whomever he chooses as his Eagle project coach. Once the Scout Master approves the plan, it needs approval from his beneficiary and then the Boy Scout council.
Walter started planning for his Eagle project in the fall of 2019. While he’d thought he would complete the project in March, it had to be pushed back and reorganized due to COVID-19 restrictions. He finished fundraising in March from a gofundme page and sending out personal letters to his friends and family to raise all of the money that he’d use for the supplies. He also collected personal care item donations at a few companies including Hudson RPM.
Over two days, Walter and friends formed a makeshift assembly line to put the baskets of toiletries together. Since they couldn’t all touch the baskets one after another, he said they pulled them in a wagon and had someone at each station put certain items into the basket. Thanks to the help of fellow Boy Scouts Lucas Walter, Ian Wynja, Andrew Graves, Joseph Buckley, Teddy Tonna, Joseph Evasius, Adrian Carmody, Sean Bellin, Paul Bellin, Parker Diaz, Camden Diaz, and Eamon Riley, and friend Isaac Shertzer, Walker was able to complete the project over the course of two days at the end of June.
He shared that he wants to be an Eagle Scout because it shows tenacity and hard work.
“I wouldn’t have dreamed of being an Eagle Scout if I hadn’t been pushed by the other scouts and my scout leaders and family,” he remarked. “It’s been lifechanging.”
Cardello emphasized that he’s very impressed by Walter's dedication to help servicemen and women organizing this project. While iPods for Wounded Veterans had to pause their events with veterans until further notice due to COVID-19 risk, he’s sure the toiletry baskets that Walter and his friends made will be in the hands of veterans as soon as it’s safe to give them out.