Scout cleans up for eagle project

Published 10:22 pm Monday, November 24, 2008

At a stately house on Bank Street, a cluster of about a dozen Boy Scouts fanned out across the yard on Saturday.

One of them, only 13 years old but taller than the rest, bounced among the boys, giving orders and guidance.

“No, don’t do that.”

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“Scrape it like this.”

“Wear your safety goggles.”

The boy in charge was Justin Duke. The house was the headquarters of the Suffolk Nansemond Historical Society.

Justin chose the house as his Eagle Scout project after a fellow scout did his Eagle project by building a trellis on the property’s back wall. Justin coordinated with Sue Woodward, president of the historical society, to find out what she wanted done to the house.

“I gave her my proposal, and she decided what she liked and didn’t like,” Justin said.

On Saturday, one team of boys raked leaves and pine needles out of the yard while another team scraped old paint off brick columns to prepare it for repainting. The boys worked from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and likely will work there this Saturday, too, Justin said.

The King’s Fork Middle School eighth-grader hopes to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and enter the robotic engineering program. He already has received the prestigious Arrow of Light scouting award, as well as about 30 merit badges.

Justin is the son of Betsy and Bill Duke, of Suffolk.