At the Heritage Elementary School playground, Buddy Benches are special places, more than just a perch to take a break.
Logan Kabele, a Waunakee High School sophomore and Boy Scout with Troop 46, described their purpose.
“It’s a place where, if a kid needs to get something off their chest and talk, they can sit on the bench, and if another kid sees them sitting on the bench, they can talk to them or just try to become friends,” said Logan.
The 15-year-old has been in Scouting since the first grade and has always thought about creating a Buddy Bench for his Eagle Scout project.
“I thought back to when I went here for school,” he said, during a visit to the project site.
The Eagle Scout rank is the highest achievable in scouting. Scouts must earn the prerequisite merit badges and then complete an application for the project.
In February, Logan got the ball rolling. He met with school district Administrator Randy Guttenberg and John Cramer, the district’s facility director, after talking to Heritage Elementary School Principal Dan Carter about his project. He also needed approval from Scoutmaster Cody Butcher and a committee.
Then Logan researched the most economically feasible options for the bench that offered the highest quality.
He said he wanted concrete legs and a base for the bench.
Then he raised funds, asking family members and his committee to help with contributions. He raised $550. Asked if it was enough to cover the bench and installation, he said, “Close. The total was $553.”
Now, he will have to finish his paperwork and return it to his scoutmaster. Then it will be sent to the district council for review.
Logan said he hopes the bench remains a part of Heritage Elementary School. He knows plans are in the works to possibly rebuild the school.
“I hope they move it somewhere and repurpose it somewhere. That would be fine by me,” he said.
The bench is his way of giving back.
“Heritage has been a school that has stuck with me,” he said.