Eagle Project Improves Backyard for Retired Priest

There was a retired priest from St. Patrick Catholic Church in Dallas, Texas, who loved to spend time on his backyard porch. Each morning, he would enjoy the birds who would visit his bird feeder. What he didn’t enjoy was the dilapidated shed where he stored his bird seed and other backyard items. The shed had deteriorated to the point where animals had torn holes in the bottom of the shed and had eaten the extra bird seed that was stored on the floor of the shed!

Andrew Dybala, member of Troop 719, decided to step in as a part of his Eagle Scout project. Andrew raised over $3,415 and led a group of 24 scouts and adults over a 1 week period to remove the old shed and build and paint a new 120 square foot shed. A total of 408 service hours were contributed by the volunteers. Beyond the shed demolition and construction, the project included removing excess shrubbery that had overgrown the shed, resetting all of the walkway stones in front of the shed, hanging a custom mosaic cross made by Andrew’s grandmother on the front of the shed, as well as installing hooks and brackets inside the shed to help keep things organized.

The project was capped off by two special items for the retired priest. First, a custom bird seed container was created by bolting a lidded trash can to a step stool. The lid will help keep the critters out and the raised can will ensure the priest does not have to bend down too far to reach the bird seed. Second, the retired priest is originally from Germany and was lovingly given the nickname “The German Shepherd” by his parishioners. A cutout metal art of a German Shepherd dog was found at a local hardware store and installed next to the shed to further ward off any critters that might try to take any bird seed! The priest remarked, “The new shed is great and the best part about my new pet dog is that he hardly barks at all!”

Andrew was asked what the best and most challenging parts of his Eagle project were. “The best part was that we got to help Father so that he could get more enjoyment out of his back yard. I also really appreciated all the help from my fellow scouts and scout leaders. My Dad and my Grandma and Grandpa Dybala were especially helpful. I could not have finished this without all of their help. It was also really awesome when we found the metal German Shepherd! The hardest part was that I underestimated how long it would take to complete the project. I learned a lot through the process. It was a lot of hard work, but I am proud of what we completed for Father.”

Andrew Dybala finished his Eagle Project in June 2022 and earned his Eagle

Scout rank in July 2022. He will be a senior at Bishop Lynch High School for the 2022-23 school year where he plays trumpet and is Upper Winds Captain for the marching band.

Leave a Comment