A goal 11 years in the making | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | November 24, 2017 5:00 am
Last Updated: November 22, 2017 at 9:02 am
By GEORGE SALSBERRY
A journey that Nick Fanchette began when he was seven years old reached its destination earlier this month.
On Nov. 5 in the ballroom of the local Elks Lodge, Fanchette became an Eagle Scout as his family, friends and fellow members of Boy Scout Troop 686, led by Scoutmaster Randy Huggins, watched the Eagle Court ceremony.
Fanchette has spend 11 years in scouting — what started in first grade reached its ultimate goal as a senior at Colleton County High School.
Nick, born and raised in Walterboro, explained, “I was a little shy as a kid and a lot of the things I was interested in, I saw scouting had. So I just jumped right in and made some of my first friends.”
Another factor, he added, was that scouting “is a very big legacy thing in the family. My great uncle, Spears Alexander of Boone, N.C., is also an Eagle Scout.
His grandfather, Terry Keith (TK) Alexander, was also in scouting, attaining the rank of Life Scout, just below Eagle. “He always said he regretted not getting his Eagle.”
When pondering his community project, one of the requirements for becoming an Eagle Scout, Nick spoke to the administrators at Northside Elementary School, seeking guidance.
He was told the school “could really use an area for experimenting with soil and weather observation.”
Adopting that project, Nick contacted potential donors: friends and family, community members and business sponsors.
Through that assistance, “we were able to produce two planter boxes and two weather stations in the school’s courtyard,” he said.
“I was able to use self-watering planter that I had helped my grandfather construct as a prototype.” He and his grandfather will use the project to demonstrate the self-watering planter’s usefulness.
The regulations also required Nick to attain a minimum of 18 merit badges, many of them required to attain Eagle Scout. He has amassed approximately 30 merit badges.
Disability Awareness and Citizenship in the Nation are among his favorite merit badges.
Disability Awareness was a favorite because it was his first. Citizenship in the Nation “because I actually had a hand in teaching that.” He teamed up with guest speaker local attorney Deborah Kane for that class.
The most trouble “was probably Family Life, which I know does not sound great,” Nick said. It was one of the required merit badges for Eagle Scout, and would be the last merit badge he earned as a scout.
It turned out to more time consuming than he had anticipated. “My family would sit down and talk about it, then get sidetracked for a month and it would take another month to get it up and going again.”
David Nichols Fanchette, known to everyone as Nick, is the son of David Michael Fanchette and Mary Catherine Alexander-Fanchette and has two brothers, 24-year-old Chase Alexander Fanchette and 13-year-old Sean Michael Fanchette.
Sean is also a member of Troop 686 where he has attained the rank of First Class.
Last weekend, a family vacation began with a campus visit to Wofford College in Spartanburg. “I am looking to study law and public policy,” Nick explained.
An interest in law has always been there, Nick said. And his work on many of his merit badges have reinforced that desire.
It created, he said, “a positive feedback circle. What I learned in the merit badges definitely focused my interests, and the more I did the merit badges, the more I wanted to do outside of it.”
“The big thing for me in scouting goes back to that service element,“ Nick explains. “Anyone interested in being active in the community should look at the scouts as a good foot in the door, because a lot of people reach out to us with projects.”