Navarro Farm Lands Two Eagle Projects

Dads were an important part of both Eagle projects that resulted in much-needed and appreciated needs for the Navarro Farm in Frankfort. Above, Drew Clarkin and his Dad, Bill Clarkin, show off Drew's goat playground.(Photos submitted)
Dads were an important part of both Eagle projects that resulted in much-needed and appreciated needs for the Navarro Farm in Frankfort. Above, Drew Clarkin and his Dad, Bill Clarkin, show off Drew's goat playground. (Photos submitted)

Dads were an important part of both Eagle projects that resulted in much-needed and appreciated needs for the Navarro Farm in Frankfort. Quinn Hickling and his Dad, Peter Hickling, pose with Quinn’s project, new benches. (Photos submitted)

By Karen Haave

When an Eagle Scout candidate has to come up with an idea for his required community service project, there’s no telling what inspired things will happen.

But, as luck would have it, a pair of Eagle Scouts from Frankfort recently had the same thought: Make something for Navarro Farm.

The 5-acre family-owned farm at 22155 S. 104th Ave. in Frankfort was created a few years ago to be a place for individuals with special needs to participate in an agricultural experience – with the hopes of increasing their social skills and independence.

Since then, word of the 501(c)(3) organization has spread, and with help from dozens of volunteers and hundreds of supporters, it has prospered.

But even the most successful charitable organizations need help, so when Andrew Clarkin offered to build something for them, it was an offer well received.

“I built a goat playground for Navarro Farm with the help from scouts and Scout leaders,” he said. “I wanted to help out Navarro with anything that they needed, so I went to them and asked what they needed. They presented me with the idea of the goat playground.

“I chose Navarro Farm because my mother volunteers there, as well as it provides an amazing service for Navarro’s farmers to have a great experience with animals.

“The most difficult part of the project was the organization of the scouts to multi-task to complete the project efficiently. The preparation and approval for the project was about two months long. The entire project took about four hours to build.

“The main core of my volunteers other than parents were the scouts from my troop who worked very hard on a day without great weather conditions.

“They stayed strong and we were able to finish the project. To them I say thank you so very much for your hard work and determination.”

A member of Frankfort Boy Scout Troop 270 under Scoutmaster Brian Jackiw, Andrew will be a senior at Lincoln-Way East this fall.

“Drew” to his friends, he is active in Varsity Volleyball, Robotics, French Honors Society, High Honor Roll, Science Honors Society, History Honors Society, and National Honors Society.
And he comes from a long line of Eagle Scouts.

“I always wanted to be an eagle as my Grandpa (William Clarkin) and my brother (Michael Clarkin) were both Eagle Scouts. and my father (Bill Clarkin) was a Life Scout,” he noted.
“It was also a goal and a light at the end of the tunnel, the final part, of Boy Scouts. All Eagles before me seemed so great, and it was always something I have strived for.

“The great influences on my path to Eagle were my father, brother, and grandfather who had all participated in scouts.

“Also, I looked up to all scouts who came before me and achieved Eagle Scout, setting the bar high for me and others. My brother’s project was a fire pit at our church Frankfort United Methodist Church.

“I feel great and proud of myself, but also very sad as my time as a scout is coming to an end very soon. I love the virtues that scouting has instilled in me, and it has forever changed my life for the best.”

The son of Suzanne and Bill Clarkin of Frankfort, Drew, 17, has one brother, Michael, and a sister, Abby.
“Boy Scouts has been an important and life changing activity for our son,” Bill Clarkin said. “We have watched Drew go from a small 9-year-old boy without much clue to life to a mature adult leader.

“He would not be nearly as mature and would be void many of the leadership experiences without Scouts. The Eagle project is the culmination of many years of learning, leading and growing. It really gives him a foundation to know what he is capable of.

“To accomplish his Eagle project with Navarro Farms is a bonus, as his mom is involved as a volunteer, and we support the organization. We are very proud of Drew and excited how he continues to expand on these building blocks and build his life.”

Drew is looking forward to his Eagle Court of Honor, which, true to his Eagle training, he plans to share with fellow Scouts when they complete their Eagle projects, “so that way we can enjoy our success together.”

Like Drew, Quinn Thomas Hickling earned his Eagle neckerchief in Frankfort Troop 270 with Scoutmaster Patrick Hasson (during his project) and current Scoutmaster Brian Jackiw.
“I was at a loss when picking somewhere to complete my Eagle project and did not know where I was passionate enough to give something back to the community,” he conceded.

“My mom suggested Navarro Farm to me and put me in contact with Sherri Navarro, and the rest is history.

“I was completely on board with this after I learned that Navarro Farms is a local nonprofit that helps older individuals with special needs. This only furthered my passion for the project, knowing I was giving a gift to an amazing cause.”

He met with the Navarros in January 2022, and they agreed on the idea of new benches.

“I based my initial sketches on similar carpentry in picnic tables on the farm and went ahead to get my project approved which took a couple of months.”

During that time, he donations from family and friends, as well as a large donation from the Frankfort Lions Club. That fall, he started buying materials with $2,000 he raised on his own.

“My father, Pete, and I spent a lot of days in the garage together toying with my design until we got them right and I was satisfied with how our A-frames looked, with four of them making the base of one bench.

“There were a lot of funky angles and specific cuts we had to make, and we had our fair share of mistakes. We eventually fabricated both benches completely out of our garage and disassembled them so we could rebuild them at (the) Navarro Farm.

“In the end, I had two large benches built for Navarro Farm. Each bench consists of two benches facing back to back together by the same base and a large top on both of them so you could take excellent group photos on them.”

On a personal level, he said, “I learned a lot about myself and how I tackle problems during the project and gained lots of valuable skills. I got my Eagle Scout a week before my 18th birthday on Nov. 21, 2022.

“I would like to thank everyone who came to my Eagle project, it quite literally means the world to me.

Like Drew Clarkin, Quinn had his eye on the Eagle badge from his earliest days in scouting. He is the son of Lisa and Peter Hickling and the grandson of Joan Tillman. He has one brother, Ian Hickling, and one sister, Charlotte Hickling.

“I always knew I was going to be an Eagle Scout,” he said. “… I knew I was going to stick with scouting because I fell in love with it after my first campout which was spent mostly in a tent trying to stay warm because it rained the entire time.

“Nevertheless, I was in love with it and worked hard to get all my requirements actively every meeting and outing.

“Some of the best role models I’ve ever had were the boys who completed their Eagle Scout while I was in middle school. A lot of boys Eagled when I was younger, and I had the privilege to say I was there to help them with their Eagle project.

“Getting to help them with their projects was one of the biggest motivators for me. I admired all of them so much and seeing them head off to college was only more motivation for me to follow in their footsteps, and here I am now in their shoes about to do the same.

“I did this until all those boys eventually graduated and it was my time to be that older high school-aged kid asking younger boys excitedly to help out at my project at Navarro Farm.
“I hope some of the boys who helped me out will do so and follow in my footsteps when their project comes along just as I did myself.”

A 2023 graduate of Lincoln-Way East High School, Quinn is heading to Mizzou next fall in pursuit of a degree in Chemical Engineering.
“Throughout Scouting, I was on the swim team and played water polo. I also was on high honor roll throughout all 4 years of high school and a member of NHS during my junior and senior years,” he said.

“I would like to thank both my parents, Pete and Lisa for supporting me throughout scouting the past 7 years of my life and pushing me to become an Eagle Scout,” Quinn said.

“I’d like to thank my dad for helping me work out all the technical parts of my project and providing his tools to help me. He was the one in the garage with me every day, working through the mistakes to give this amazing gift.

“I’d like to thank the following adult leaders as well: Paul Herbst, Brian Jackiw, Patrick Hassan, William Jennrich (Path to Eagle mentor), and Bill Clarkin, probably my biggest role model who pushed me to do this. I’d like to thank everyone who donated to my project as well as Frankfort Lions Club for their generous donation.

“To the boys in my troop in high school, get started on your project ASAP!”
For Sherri Navarro, the projects Drew and Quinn created and donated to Navarro Farm are priceless.

“Their projects make a difference at the farms,” she said. “The goats love it and play on it every day! Even The pigs use it for shade. It’s a big hit!

“I’d like people to know that these Boy Scouts building something that we need and can use is so appreciated. Not only by our animals, but by everyone who attends the farm. We are honored that they chose the farm to support.”

Karen Haave is a freelance reporter.

The ability to manage a group enterprise also is a guideline for Eagle projects. Quinn Hickling gathers with his team. (Photos submitted)

The ability to manage a group enterprise also is a guideline for Eagle projects.
(Photos submitted)

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