Eagle Scout Dan Healy gives back to his EJR family

Pine Bush High School senior Dan Healy earned his Eagle Scout designation this year. He’s been in scouting since he was just a little kid and earning Eagle was certainly a goal for him.

Inspiration for his Eagle project, though, came from a comment he remembered from his former principal at EJR, Elizabeth Halsey-Sproul.

“She mentioned during COVID that she would love to have an outdoor classroom,” Dan said. So, that’s just what he set out to do.

Two high school boys work on building a project with wood.


With the help of his parents, Susan and Doug Healy, and many of his fellow scouts and their parents, Dan created eight 10-foot-long benches, built a podium and created a beautiful wood and metal arch welcoming all to the classroom with the message “Reach for the Stars.”

“I was so thrilled when Dan asked if he could do his Eagle Project at EJR,” said Ms. Halsey-Sproul.  “It was such an honor to have him do his project here! I am so very proud of the young man he is!”

A group of nine high school boys hoist up an arch built from wood and metal. There is snow on the ground and they are dressed in winter coats.


All of the planning, paperwork (27 pages) and presentations were done by Dan himself. Susan Healy explained that the process to Eagle Scout is a long one. Dan had to finish 21 merit badges before he could even start his project, and had to complete every stage of the planning on his own.

The building process was very labor intensive. Dan bought 130 pieces of lumber from Lowes and stained them all. He did fundraising with local  organizations and businesses to cover the costs.

Nine high school students, dressed in winter coats and hats, stand together on a bright winter day. Snow on the ground. They are standing by an arch made of wood and metal they erected. The arch says Reach for the Stars.


The special sign was made with a plasma cutting table and a donated post digger.

While the outdoor classroom is something beautiful this time of year, Dan built all of the benches, the podium and the pieces of the sign in his garage this past winter.

A row of adults and one high school boy dressed in a Boy Scout uniform. There is a man on the right and the other six are women. They're all smiling on a sunny spring day. There are wooden benches in front of them.


When all was complete, Dan and his dedicated group of helpers brought  all of the pieces to EJR during the February break. It was a sunny, balmy 14 degrees on the day they assembled the classroom at EJR, but they got it done.

Fast forward to May 29. A beautiful spring day. Sitting in the outdoor classroom at EJR were Principal Halsey-Sproul and Dan’s former elementary school teachers Moira Roberts, Lauren Nemeth, Kim Godduhn, and Patricia Becker.

Five women sit on benches and a young man stands behind a podium.


Dan’s teachers were thrilled to catch up with Dan, thanked him for his gift to his former school and explained that many classes have already been held outside on beautiful days this spring. Dan’s legacy to EJR will be enjoyed by many students and teachers for years to come.

Great job, Dan! We are Pine Bush Proud!


Volunteers on Dan’s team:

  • Ryan Wittenberg
  • Riley Kool
  • Alex McCord
  • Michael Vaccarino
  • Travis Coleman
  • Anthony Giannini
  • Aiden Byrne
  • Adam Dillon
  • Mateo Dispigna
  • Killian Mullins


Local businesses/organization that made donations:

  • Pine Bush American Legion
  • Pine Bush Catholic War Veterans
  • Pine Bush Firehouse
  • Walker Valley Firehouse
Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Brian Dunn
Superintendent of Schools
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