All in the family: Six Ballard brothers attain Scout’s highest rank
Every family has its traditions, from where they spend holidays to the coming-of-age customs they have for their children.
For the Ballard family of River Falls, earning the Boy Scout Eagle Scout Award is a family tradition that all six Ballard brothers achieved.
As of March 5, the youngest son of Evan and Pam Ballard earned his Eagle Scout Award at the Hudson-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Tim Ballard, a River Falls High School junior, said that to earn the highest honor a Boy Scout can get, he “held a blood drive with the Red Cross at the pharmacy located in Family Fresh on Main Street.”
Tim said that for his six-hour blood drive he needed to set up the time and place, advertise the drive, call people to set up appointments to give blood, take down people's information during the drive, and assist people through the process.
He said he choose the blood drive because “it was just one of the first ideas that I had and also I wanted to try coordinating something on a larger scale.”
Tim said he did a lot of planning with the Red Cross.
“There was quite a bit of scheduling and rescheduling,” he said.
The more than 50 hours of work on the project also included creating a call center where Tim and a few Scouts from his troop “could mass communicate with people concerning appointments and filling up time slots.”
As part of his project Tim said he learned a lot about leadership and responsibility.
“I learned leadership in the form of organizing the drive and helping people by letting them know what they had to do; be it the guys from my troop or blood donors,” he said.
Tim said that during the blood drive, a snafu with the computer systems led to a few hours delay. This required him to take responsibility by calling donors and rescheduling appointments.
Throughout the process, Tim said he learned that he enjoys organizing events.
“It was stressful at some points but…I had fun meeting all the people who had come to donate and getting all their information down,” he said.
Tim said one of the hardest parts of his Eagle Scout project was finding donors to fill up the time slots at the blood drive.
“We had over 40 slots we had to fill so I, and others, were trying to get ahold of people and schedule them,” he said. “We ended up filling up almost all of them, which was more than we thought we were going to get so it worked out great.”
Mom, Pam, said that Tim is very independent. She said he contacted a Red Cross representative and did the organization for his Eagle Scout Award project.
She said that while Tim did things the whole family did, he also tried to do things on his own. She felt that Tim, being the sixth son, was trying to find his niche.
According to Tim the Eagle Scout Award, which was a requirement to get his driver’s license, will help with college applications, as well as having relevance in everyday life.
“There are the leadership and organization skills that I developed from working on the project, but there are also things that I learned from the many merit badges, from financial management to first aid,” he added.
Besides Boy Scouts, Tim is involved in band, choir, jazz band, FBLA and NHS at RFHS.
He is hoping to attend college at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah and has not decided on a major and future career.
For more on this story, please see the March 13 print edition of the River Falls Journal.