- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
At Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School, students can enjoy classes outdoors as well as indoors, thanks to Eagle Scout Rudy Morrow.
Rudy and fellow Boy Scouts, friends, family and his two brothers, Jamie and Bennett Morrow, who also are Eagle Scouts, built an outdoor classroom in the butterfly garden at the school in Newburg.
Rudy is a member of Troop 1404 in Dahlgren, Va.
In searching for an Eagle Scout project idea, he asked his mother, Jill Jowdy, the gym teacher at Higdon, if there was anything that needed to be built at the school.
“Rudy wanted to build something to help the students and teachers because he enjoyed building a bridge at the school when he helped his brother, Bennett, complete his Eagle Scout project at Higdon two years earlier,” said Jowdy in a news release. “We came up with the idea of an outdoor classroom with moveable benches and picnic tables when Rudy came to Higdon and looked at the butterfly garden. He said he liked the idea that students could use his project every day and be able to go to school outside. Rudy also assisted his older Eagle Scout brother, Jamie, as he built six picnic tables for the local swimming pool in 2009, so he had some experience in picnic table construction.”
The benches and tables were built at the Morrow home and assembled at the school.
The project was completed in early June 2012.
The outdoor classroom was used every day until school was over and continues to be used for science classes, gym classes and many classes with special projects or just taking time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
It got to be so well-used that school officials had to make and post a schedule for a while so classes did not overlap, Jowdy said.
Teachers also use it to eat lunch or take a break during their planning time.
Upon a request from the teachers, one of the picnic tables that Rudy built was moved to the playground so that students could sit and read, talk with friends or catch up on work.
The table is used by the students at recess every day.
The Eagle Scout ceremony for Rudy was held at Higdon in the butterfly garden Nov. 19, using the outdoor classroom that he built.
Troop 1404 Scouts, troop leaders, friends, family and Higdon school staff attended. A reception followed in the school library.