MANATEE -- Dakota Lupinski, a junior at Manatee High School, recently completed his Eagle Scout project at Felts Nature Preserve in Palmetto.
Lupinski has been in Boy Scouts since he was 6, starting as a Cub Scout. He has been apart of Troop 111 for 11 years.
It has taken him and many others some eight months to complete the project he has been working since last June.
His many supporters include his parents, Nikki and Scott Lupinski, Troop 111 members, and Lori Roberts from Felts. Also, 84 Lumber of Bradenton donated all materials Lupinski needed and Lowes, Oneco Glass and Home Depot gave him major discounts to help complete the project.
"We are so proud of Dakota with all his accomplishments in life and Scouts," said his mother. "He has lived by the Scout oath and law and, because of this, he is now getting ready to be part of the 4 percent of Boy Scouts that make it to Eagle."
Scott Lupinski has been a leader in Troop 111 since it was established and Nikki Lupinski was a leader in Cub Scouts the last five years, but now helps the troop out when she can.
For his project, Dakota created a bee hotel and made informational signs to be put on the trails at Felts. Bee hotels are plac
es for solitary bees to make their nests. The structure is a wooden box off the ground with chicken wire. A bee hotel allows solitary bees to meet and repopulate since they live alone, not in hives.
He also made eight educational signs with specific information about organisms around the preserve. Some of them offer details about native plants in the area or wildlife.
"Stay with it, and don't procrastinate," Dakota said.
Lupinski wants to become an engineer when he graduates. He has not yet decided on a college.
The main advantage of being an Eagle Scout is most people understand it is a great achievement accomplished by few. Eagle Scouts also carry the skills and leadership knowledge they learn throughout the many years leading up to the top rank. There are many scholarships available for Eagle Scouts, as well, he said.
"Get the Eagle Scout requirement badges as soon as possible and keep on the lookout for projects," said Dakota Lupinski, when asked if he had any advice for younger Scouts thinking about moving up in the ranks.