Local Scout Creates Life-Changing Fair for Project

emergency preparedness fair

Close to 200 hours of planning and organizing with over 50 volunteers is what it took Senior Kosin Outha-Aphay of Wylie, to finish his Eagle Scout project: an emergency preparedness fair for the entire community. Few have ever sat in a fire truck, donated blood and learned about what to do in case of an emergency all in the same day, but hundreds of visitors got the chance at this fair.

The Eagle Scout award is the highest rank one can earn in The Boy Scouts of America and is difficult to achieve. Only 2% of all scouts actually earn it. One of the most challenging requirements of this award is a large service project planned, carried out, and looked over by the scout, usually with a large volunteer help.

Kosin chose his project after hearing of a similar one carried out by his scout leader’s nephew.

“I heard how helpful it was and wanted to do the same,” said Kosin. “We’ve been preparing for this for a very long time and it’s great to see how much the planning has paid off.”

Preparation for the actual event started in 2012 and included many evenings and weekends. The emergency preparedness fair offered information to the local community on necessities like food storage, emergency radio, first aid, and community response. It also held a blood drive put on by The American Red Cross.

“I think few people who came to this fair knew how to amputate before they came. I’ve enlightened,” said Mark Urish, a local doctor who ran the first aid booth.

The large project attracted visitors from Wylie, Sachse, and even as far as Richardson. Wylie High School and Wylie East High School teachers cam to show support as well.

“We’ve had a great turn-out,” Bob Ek, Kosin’s Scout leader said. “It’s been a lot of work but it’s been a great volunteer effort.”

Ek, who has been involved in scouting for over 25 years, helped Kosin find volunteers and organize the project. Members of the community, teachers, and fellow scouts also appeared to support the project.

The blood drive did so well in fact that Kelly Carlin of The American Red Cross, who was expecting a turnout of around 20 pints of donations, had to call in more beds and personnel as the number of commitments rose. In just a few hours, over 200 visitors attended the fair and around 28 pints of blood were collected from the drive.

“It’s worked out so well,” reported Life Scout, Nate Porter. “This is a great example for others who want to get their Eagle awards.”

Now that the project is finished, Kosin is now only a few steps away from attaining his Eagle Award. The final requirement is a write-up, outlining the implementation of the project. He has recently finished his final required merit badges and expects to earn the Eagle Award in January.