Jonathan (shown here with sister Jennifer) worked for much of the summer building an outdoor classroom for Golden Hills School as his Eagle Scout project. Jennifer is a current Golden Hills eighth-grader and, during a recent assembly, presented her brother with a plaque that will be permanently displayed at the classroom. Courtesy photo

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Scout builds outdoor classroom for Golden Hills School

By From page A3 | November 20, 2013

Golden Hills students a staff recently recognized an alum who never forgot his years at the El Dorado Hills school. Jonathan Heideman of Boy Scout Troop 193 recently built an outdoor classroom there for his Eagle Scout project

The Jesuit high school sophomore attended Golden Hills School from kindergarten through eighth grade and described the three components he completed for the project: develop a plan, fundraise and direct the project.

“Mr. Blum (now retired Golden Hills science teacher) helped me research outdoor classrooms and I felt inspired by one with a whiteboard,” Jonathan said. “Then my troop helped me raise $300 holding a car wash at Food 4 Less in Cameron Park last May. My favorite part of the whole thing was leading my troop members.”

The hardest part of the project? “Over the summer I hand dug deep holes to place the poles for the sunshade,” said Jonathan. “I got the worst sunburn I’ve ever had.”

The “fresh air learning” outdoor classroom was designed to enhance the school’s learning garden, “but it can be used for any class that wants to be outside,” said Jonathan.

It includes a canopy, four tables (including one that is wheelchair accessible), canopy and hand-built cabinet that houses a whiteboard, built by Jonathan and his father, who is an Eagle Scout as well as the troop’s scout master. They also installed all the edging and landscaping.

“I’m really proud of him as a teen giving back to other kids,” said Jonathan’s mom Julia. “It’s a nice thing to see.”

Golden Hills’ Head of School Karen O’Donnell also had high praise for Jonathan.”I enjoyed working with Jonathan and his family and am so thankful and proud of Jonathan for his vision and commitment to GHS,” she said. “Jonathan is a wonderful example of a GHS graduate who cares to be involved and to give back to his community.”

Jonathan is working on one last merit badge, personal fitness, before he goes before the board for review to earn his Eagle ranking, planned for sometime in December, according to his mom.

“It’s good to see they’re using the outdoor classroom and enjoying it,” said Jonathan. “That’s the whole reason we did it.”

Julie Samrick


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