Labor Day often means a weekend of camping or a day off of work. For 13-year-old Branden Brooks and nearly 30 others, Labor Day meant labor and lots of it. The story starts several years ago when Branden set a goal to receive his Eagle Scout award before his 14th birthday.
Branden worked hard to earn his advancements. Last fall on a family picnic at the obscure Milton “M”, his family started discussing the idea of Branden restoring the “M” as his Eagle Scout Project. This is a spot that holds fond memories for the family as generations have enjoyed the area. Branden’s father Chet Brooks grew up in the Milton as did his grandmother Nell Allen. Nell had a great view of the “M” from the window of her home at the base of Line Creek Road. The family enjoyed picnics at the local icon.
This spring Branden earned his Life rank, which made him eligible to begin work on his Eagle Project. Once he received permission from the landowner, Dan Bybee, he went to work organizing the project.
Branden’s Scoutmaster, Gifford Bott, encouraged him to apply for a $100 grant Lowes Home Improvement stores offer to select Eagle Scouts with a construction based project. He was able to purchase many of the items he needed with this grant. The remaining item he needed was lime. Our local Ace Hardware store gave him a generous discount, allowing him to have all of the materials he needed.
Branden organized the team of volunteers including members of his troop #188, along with members of his ward and family. He outlined the “M” before the big day so the volunteers could help with pulling weeds and moving rocks in the designated letter. The lime was mixed at the bottom of the hill, which gave the volunteers a good work out caring nearly 40 buckets up the steep climb one at a time. Then it was time to give the symbol its bright white coat. The “M” can be seen from across the valley. Many Morgan residents will regularly pass by this township’s symbol. When driving along the freeway near the Stoddard overpass, the Milton “M” can easily be viewed. It stands proudly on the west side of the valley just above the Milton church on Morgan Valley Drive.
His favorite part of the project was, “Getting it done and being able to say I did that.”
“It was a great service project.” his mother Andrea said. “He did an excellent job showing leadership and taking charge.”
Branden is in the 8th grade at Morgan Middle School and enjoys scouting. He especially loves campouts. He has only three more merit badges to finish up to meet his goal to receive his Eagle Scout prior to his 14th birthday. Good luck with your goals, Branden, and thank you for your service to the Milton Community.