Clifford H. Smart Middle School students won’t have to wait for a librarian in order to return books any more, thanks to the efforts of Boy Scout Erik Meeks.
“I am excited to know that my project is going to help CHS out every day,” said Meeks, a 17-year-old student at Walled Lake Northern High School.
Meeks, a former Clifford Smart student, recently completed the construction of a book cart for the middle school that will be used for patrons to return books. A member of Troop No. 308 since early 2006, the project will help Meeks earn the rank of Eagle Scout — the organization’s highest advancement rank.
Meeks started the book cart project last spring, after meeting with Clifford Smart Principal Brian Kaplan.
“He stressed the need for a book cart because of the recent budget cuts, and thus the lack of a librarian able to be at CHS full-time,” Meeks said.
Leading the effort, Meeks conducted his own Memorial Day Can Drive and raised $407 toward building the cart. With the help of more than a dozen others, including his friends, family and fellow scouts, Meeks was able to obtain all of the materials and complete construction of the cart. In all, the team put in more than 100 hours of work, he said.
The project was the final step in completing all the requirements needed to qualify for the Eagle Scout rank — a goal he said he has had since joining the Boy Scouts.
While he will still have to go before a review board before officially receiving the rank, Meeks will be the second in his family to have earned the achievement.
About 5 percent of all Boy Scouts earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 2011, making it a rare achievement. About 2 million have earned the rank since 1912.
“My dad has been the biggest influence,” he said. “He was our troop master, and he is an Eagle Scout, too.”