Aidan Sardiello’s Eagle Scout Project Benefits CHS - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Island News

Aidan Sardiello’s Eagle Scout Project Benefits CHS

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Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019 4:44 pm

In many respects Aidan Sardiello is a typical high school student, finishing his freshman year at Coronado High School, playing video games and doing homework. On the flip side, the personable Sardiello has completed his requirements for Eagle Scout, including 10 more merit badges earned than the required total of 21. He also has a definite plan in mind for the future, which includes earning his pilot’s license, and in a perfect world, eventually attending Cal Tech in Pasadena to study Aerospace Engineering.

Aidan is the son of Capt. Carlos and Erin Sardiello, a family which includes twin daughters Gabriella and Keira, who attend Coronado Middle School. In most articles about the family, Capt. Sardiello would be headliner, as he is the commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, (CVN-71). Typical of many Navy families, Erin Sardiello estimated the average length of time Aidan and his sisters have lived in one location during their young lives is 18 months. Aidan said, “We’ve lived in Rhode Island, Florida, Washington, Japan, in Italy south of Rome, and Chesapeake, Virginia. When Dad was the executive officer of the USS George Washington (CVN-73), I was home-schooled and cut off from society for a year and a half. The school was located 90 minutes away by bus. But I got to visit the ship on my days off and I could get my schoolwork done in three hours if I rushed it.”

The latest chapter of the Sardiello Family sojourn actually comes in two parts. They moved to a house in the Village portion of Coronado on Jan. 20, 2017, a date Aidan recalls precisely, and then relocated later to base housing. Even moves stateside come in stages.

One constant among the last few moves for Aidan has been scouting. He got involved in scouting while the family lived in South Carolina and Aidan was in second grade as a Wolf Scout in the local Cub Scout Pack. “I didn’t really get involved until I moved here and joined Troop 801. I knew from pretty early on that I wanted to be an Eagle Scout and that it would definitely help me to get in a good college.” Erin added, “Scouts helped Aidan with his leadership skills and assimilating into the community.”

Scout Troop 801 is under the direction of Scoutmaster Dr. Joe Mullins of Mullins Orthodontics in Coronado.

During our interview, Sardiello didn’t know how many merit badges he had earned, but Mom Erin produced photographic evidence that 31 was the current count. Aidan added, “I would like to earn as many merit badges as I can before I turn 18,” which is the last year of eligibility for Eagle Scouts.

As an aside, although the number of merit badges in Boy Scouts varies from time to time, the current total is 137 different offerings. The Journalism merit badge ranked No. 132 in popularity in 2018, just ahead of American Labor, Surveying, Stamp Collecting, American Business and Bugling. Any direct correlation among that group of programs eludes me.

To attain the rank of Eagle Scout, in addition to the merit badge total, and other requirements, a scout must perform a service project. According to a Boy Scout website the project can include anything, “Which is helpful to any religious institution, any school or your community. And the project must benefit an organization other than the Boys Scouts of America.”

Sardiello described the genesis of his project. “I went to our Assistant Principal Timothy Hopper and asked him, ‘What can I do to help the school?’ I had the option of fixing the bike racks, which was too simplified a project or building metal bike racks. Fixing the thatch roofs on the six Tiki huts in the Quad was a happy medium and required less labor than the other. When Mom saw how much it was going to cost, she couldn’t believe it. The original cost was $3,500, but the company Palapa Kings only sells thatch in larger pieces which cost $5,000. For the company to do the complete project would have cost $10,000, but we supplied the labor and saved the district $5,000. Palapa Kings donated the tar paper, staple guns and various tools like crowbars. And the school supplied the scaffolding to get up on the larger structures. It was just tedious. When we pulled off the thatch, we found an area that had about 500 staples in it. It took eight scouts, two to three hours to try and pull them all out. In addition to the roof, some of the umbrellas were broken and there were a few rings around the outside that were snapped in some places. So we needed replacement parts for those. We had a total of eight scouts and adults. We worked for around 18 hours total and we did it on the weekend of April 6-7, and April 13.”

The total cost of the project was $5,000 for the major repairs and $150 for Domino’s Pizza and soda for the Scouts from Troops 801 and Troop 806, who provided most of the labor. Donations for the project were made by the Rotary Club of Coronado and the Optimist Club of Coronado. CUSD Superintendent Karl Mueller, who was in attendance at the presentation Sardiello made to the Optimist Club, promised to cover the balance of the expenses not covered by donations. All things considered, it was a win-win for all involved. Another major contribution came from CUSD employee John Coolidge, who played a significant role in supplying the scaffolding, ladders and other items.

Attaining the rank of Eagle Scout isn’t the end of scouting for Aidan, just another step to be accomplished. After serving as Troop 801 Webmaster, and then Quartermaster, which means directing the cleanup of messes created by other scouts, Sardiello is now the Senior Patrol Leader. “You get voted in and I am the direct associate to the Scoutmaster,” he said. “I’m responsible for planning the meetings, activities of the troop, policies and who has what job. And Mom brings the cookies.” Erin, who obviously plays a major role in at least the last part of the job requirement said, “Part of his speech was they would hold some of their meetings at the beach or in the park.” I was reminded of student council election speeches which promised better cafeteria food in exchange for votes.

Sardiello recently earned an important scouting designation, Order of the Arrow. One goal that hasn’t been realized and may have to be put off until 2020 is attending the famous Philmont Scout Ranch located near Cimarron, New Mexico, with his father Carlos, who is also an Eagle Scout. May 31, 2018, the Ute Park Fire severely damaged the ranch, which covers 140,000 acres of land in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Sardiello said of his Philmont plans, “I was preparing to go in 2018 and I was coming back from a final training hike when I turned on the car radio and they said they had the fire and cancelled all reservations. My Dad never got to go to Philmont either. Hopefully we can go next summer.”

As our interview concluded, it became increasingly more difficult to believe that Sardiello spent a whole lot of his down time playing video games. Exhibit One was the following quote regarding his favorite subject in school, “It’s Chemistry right now. My teacher is Ms. Kim and she’s great. I’ve been acquiring chemistry stuff in the garage and I try to do experiments.”

Sardiello doesn’t seem any the worse for wear after visiting and residing in a good portion of the planet. Any scout whose favorite merit badge was Nuclear Science, because mixing dry ice in a jar with water to create vapor, which allowed him to observe a neutrino from the Sun interact with water, will probably go far in life.

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