Thursday, February 25, 2016

BrickDreams: An Eagle Scout Service Project Idea

Eric Barlog with cans of LEGO ready to donate to BrickDreams
We recently ran a post on a charity called BrickDreams. This amazing non-profit, started by then-15-year-old Bailey Snow, provides used LEGO bricks to child victims of domestic abuse in and around Sacramento, California. If you’re looking for a service project idea, read on to learn how to get involved.

While researching the previous post and talking to the folks at BrickDreams, we were inspired to learn about an Eagle Scout candidate who gathered and donated 100 pounds of LEGO bricks for his Eagle Scout service project. We decided to tell his story and hopefully provide some Eagle Scout service project ideas to those looking for a good cause.

Eighteen-year-old Eric Barlog was inspired by BrickDreams’ mission to provide used LEGO bricks to child victims of abuse. As part of his Eagle Scout project, Eric made it a goal to gather 100 pounds. of used LEGO bricks to donate.

Over the course of nearly a year, his work paid off and he surpassed that goal. At the end of his campaign, he drove more than 100 pounds of LEGO bricks from his home in the Los Angeles area up to Sacramento. There, the LEGO bricks were distributed by Lleyton and Kyle Rutz, the current leaders of BrickDreams and Star-rank Boy Scouts themselves.

Connor Chang, Kyle Rutz, Lleyton Rutz, and Christopher Luo of Troop 121, Granite Bay, CA. All are active community volunteers for BrickDreams.
“One hundred pounds of LEGO will make about 200 cans that we donate to agencies working with child victims of abuse. That’s 200 kids who will benefit from Eric’s effort,” according to Lleyton Rutz, 13.

When taking the Boy Scout Oath, young men promise “to help other people at all times.” Service to community is a big part of that promise.

Scouting’s new requirements that took effect January 1, 2016, increase the number of service hours required to attain ranks. A Scout advancing to Eagle Scout will complete at least 18 hours of service, not including those spent on his Eagle Scout service project. That’s a 28 percent increase. Fortunately, most Scouts exceed the 18 hours without batting an eye.

“Volunteering with BrickDreams is something almost all ages can participate in. We don’t have a minimum age like many charities. Just some basic training is required. Most kids are LEGO experts, and that makes our charity perfect to partner with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts,” according to Kyle Rutz, 13.

“Two more local Troops contacted us this month to help with specific merit badge service requirements for Citizenship in the Community. We’re excited about all the support we’re getting.”

BrickDreams encourages other innovative ideas on how BrickDreams, Scouts, and other active community groups can partner. Representatives of BrickDreams said they are humbled by the massive donation of LEGO bricks from Eric Barlog and hope more across the country will get involved.

Check out our other post on BrickDreams, covering its mission, history, and future plans.

Contact BrickDreams to get involved.

Still need more Eagle Scout project ideas? Check out these links:

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