Carved from determination

CHS freshman helps brighten up his former middle school

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Michael Knight sits with Liberty Middle School Principal Marilyn Boerke on one of the five benches he made for the school as a part of his Eagle Scout project last year.

Camas resident Michael Knight was determined to become an Eagle Scout before he finished middle school.

He almost didn’t make it.

Right before he was set to leave for Scouting camp to collect the last few merit badges he needed, his appendix nearly burst.

“We are talking two hours before he was to leave (for camp),” Nadine Knight, his mom, said.

Michael was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery.

Because he had worked so diligently to finish his Eagle Scout project, which was new benches for Liberty Middle School, Michael was allowed to earn the badges at home.

“True to the Scout motto ‘Be prepared,’ he was prepared and even though he nearly died, he planned and was able to (earn Eagle Scout status) anyway,” Nadine said.

Nine days after his 14th birthday, Michael received his Eagle, and participated in the court of honor ceremony in August.

Michael, who attended Liberty Middle School at the time, wanted to do something special locally. He decided to make benche the kids could sit on and visit while in the hallways, instead of sprawling on the floor.

Michael received donations from local businesses and for the entire summer of 2010 he worked on the five benches, which involved a lot of cutting, drilling, sanding and staining.

On the first day of school in September 2010, he presented the benches to principal Marilyn Boerke.

The benches are painted in the school colors of red and black.

Nearly a year later, after the project had been reviewed and merit badges confirmed, Michael had his court of honor ceremony, where he was officially named an Eagle Scout. It was just a few days before his freshman year at Camas High School began.

“I am proud to be an Eagle Scout,” Michael said. “I wanted to do something special for the community, and I know schools don’t have a lot of money now.”