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Southwest Orange Saturday, Jun. 25, 2016 3 years ago

Dr. Phillips teen renovates trailer to donate as Eagle Scout project

Dr. Phillips resident and Boy Scout Kyle Collins renovated his troop’s old trailer for his Eagle Scout project and plans to donate it to the Islamic Center of Orlando.
by: Danielle Hendrix Associate Editor

DR. PHILLIPS  When 17-year-old Eagle Scout candidate Kyle Collins began renovating his troop’s old trailer for the Islamic Center of Orlando, he didn’t know he was taking on more than anticipated — but he knew it was worth it.

Collins, a Dr. Phillips resident and member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 6, started his scouting career at an early age as a Cub Scout. Over the years, he has enjoyed the opportunities that Scouts has brought him — camping, wilderness survival skills, leadership skills and numerous other opportunities. But from a young age, he knew he wanted to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honor in Boy Scouts.

“The thing about the Boy Scouts is it’s not just the destination — it’s not just getting the Eagle award — it’s the journey along the way,” said Collins, a recent Olympia High graduate who will attend the Florida Institute of Technology to study chemistry. “The biggest thing is the Eagle project, because that’s the culmination of everything you’ve learned in Boy Scouts. My dad and grandfather never got their Eagle, my brother was the first in the family. My dad’s always telling me that not getting his Eagle is one of the biggest regrets he’s ever had, so that’s what’s driving me to want to get mine.”

The idea for Collins’ project came from his dad, Brian, who helped start a troop at the Islamic Center of Orlando a few years back. Although Kyle Collins — who is Jewish — originally wanted to do a gardening project, his father reminded him their troop had an old trailer that had been sitting unused for a while at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. 

“I think scouting brings out the best in our youth and has a way and means to tie community together that few organizations can do.” — Brian Collins, Kyle’s father

The trailer, Kyle Collins said, had been collecting dust and had many issues to be addressed. He received help from a mechanic for the work he couldn’t do himself: new brakes and bearings, welding a door, electric wiring and new tires among them. 

He also had numerous organizations and companies that donated supplies for the project. Ace Hardware, Signature Systems Group, David’s Trailers and many other companies have donated hundreds of dollars worth of supplies and offered heavy discounts.

“It’s a completely new trailer at this point,” Kyle Collins said. “We built shelving units and installed it, painted the floor and the ceiling, we installed new interior lining and plastic sheeting to put on walls and doors, put on weather stripping and repainted the outside.”

Over the past three months, Kyle Collins and friends from his troop and his Civil Air Patrol squadron worked to restore the trailer to proper function. Now, the trailer is waiting for the finishing details, such as the exterior decals for the ICO, before officially being given to the group.

“Scouting brings out the best in our youth and has a way and means to tie community together that few organizations can do,” Brian Collins said. “His project is a perfect example of that, and hopefully, people see that there’s a lot of good, positive stuff to come from it.”


Contact Danielle Hendrix at [email protected].

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