Helena Magazine

Education Q&A: Ethan Quinn

Published 8:41 am Wednesday, April 10, 2024

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Boy Scout and local student Ethan Quinn talks about his Eagle Scout Service Project to build flag retirement boxes for the city of Helena.

Eagle Scout is the highest rank any scout can achieve. Every Eagle Scout passes through the rankings from Scout to Tenderfoot to Second Class to First Class to Star to Life and, finally, to Eagle Scout. There are many requirements to become an Eagle Scout, but the most famous is the Eagle Scout Service Project.

Eagle Scout projects are designed to teach scouts a myriad of lessons such as leadership skills and project management. But above all, these projects are designed to fulfill the Scout Oath “to help other people at all times.”

Here in Helena, Scout Ethan Quinn is striving to earn the rank of Eagle Scout and has recently received approval for his project proposal to build flag retirement boxes and place them around Helena for the community to use. Ethan shared more about his project and what it means to be an Eagle Scout.


Can you tell me a bit more about what it means to be an Eagle Scout? What criteria must you meet to become one?

A few of the requirements to become an Eagle Scout are completing a certain amount of merit badges, planning and completing a project and completing six other ranks with their own set of requirements prior to working towards the Eagle Scout rank.


What is the purpose of an Eagle Scout project? 

The purpose of an Eagle scout project is to demonstrate leadership skills. You plan and lead a project that benefits a community, organization or religious institution.


What inspired you to choose flag retirement as your project? 

 I was inspired to choose to build flag retirement boxes because on our neighborhood Facebook page several people were asking where flags could be retired, and someone answered that the nearest location was outside of our city. This got me thinking that I could make a few and place them throughout Helena for the convenience of the residents.


For people that might not know, what is a flag retirement box and how do you use one?

 A flag retirement box is a place for people in the community to drop off their American flags that are no longer suitable to fly.


Walk me through everything you will do as a part of the project? Where in Helena will you be placing these boxes?

First I have to write a proposal, then I make a plan describing how the project will be carried out and what I will do. After the boxes have been placed, I will report on how the project went. I will be placing these boxes at the Senior Center, Fire Station Two and the J.B Holmes Public Library.


Update: Ethan Quinn was able to start his project earlier than anticipated and now hopes to have all the flag retirement boxes placed in the community by the end of April.