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Scout makes detailed replication of old libraries

Parker Kee helped manage and lead constructing two model buildings seen above.

SNOHOMISH — The cross-armed act of underwater shark viewing and the meticulous act of managing a team through 1,169 hours of construction both have a common effect.
“It gives him confidence,” said Roger Kee, father of Parker Kee, who is on the path to becoming an Eagle Scout after recently completing historically reminiscent library models, built from photographs taken in the early 1900s. The project was completed with the help of seasoned construction professionals.
The sentry style duty was one that took practice, and sharks were part of that. Roger Kee said during a shark-viewing trip in the Bahamas that they were taught that if they crossed their arms over their chest and did not flail, wiggling their fingers, they’d avoid communicating to the sharks that perhaps their hands were tasty fish.
“They’re after the fish. They don’t want to eat us,” Roger Kee relayed. “What a life-changing experience.”
Scouts lead. Both the shark trip, numerous hikes and an endeavor to build library models are all part of that focus on leadership. The models stand at child-height. In all of it, Roger Kee stood by his son.
Parker’s crew included established professionals in the construction community, who Parker was tasked with directing.
The library models stand on castors, so the book-wielding depictions of Snohomish history can be easily rolled from one classroom to the next.
“It was a hard project. But I stuck with it,” Parker said.
He said leadership skills are one thing he gained from the project. The leadership theme is one that has a thread throughout many years in the educational history here, finding its way into loudspeaker announcements in 1987 that ended with “Make it a Great Day,” and in the speech ushering in the graduating class of 2019.
His father taught him how to break down the project into steps, and making a plan for each stage. That plan had its obstacles, challenges and frustrations. His family was there all along the way with his younger sister lending a hand and his mom assuring people were fed and motivated.
It was a task heavy endeavor. Parker Kee said his favorite step was “the finishing step.”
From the experience, he learned that he does not want to be a project manager like his dad, but he does want to be a carpenter.
On Sept. 16 of this year, he presented the project to Machias Elementary, using a half-dozen note cards to jog his memory on what he intended to say. The presentation included accolades to the team that helped him create the project. “Without their support and funding this project would have never happened,” he reiterated from his speech.  
His goals were to help students read more than 30 minutes a day and give students access to books, while also offering the larger community a way to connect to their history.
The project was not without sacrifice. Machias Elementary, Trico Companies and the Kee family each spent $500. Members of the Solie family kicked in time, effort and other resources.
Before his Sept. 16 deadline, he and Dad worked until 4:30 a.m. And while a typical Eagle Scout project is only 200 to 300 hours, his project had some stops and starts with snow delays, illnesses, and his father’s work schedule.
The leadership element shined through: In Snohomish schools as in Parker’s home, leadership is an established priority. Roger Kee is a veteran and project manager.
Parker heard that message, explaining his view of leadership.
“Leadership is giving motivation and purpose and direction to what people are doing,” Parker Kee said. “I lead by example ... by doing the right thing.”  

Jana Alexander Hill: / 360-568-4121 x145



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