He’s a born leader.
Throughout his life, 18-year-old Bay Ridgeite James Chin has shown he has a passion for the Scouts and for making a difference in his community. Whether its improving his neighborhood’s parks or teaching kids, Chin has always been up to the task. A lot of that motivation can be attributed to his early grounding in the Cub Scouts.
“In the second grade, one of my friends was in the Cub Scouts and invited me to come to the meetings,” he said. “It was the first time I did Scouting. I switched to Pack 313, which is currently my troop. Since then, I’ve been Scouting.”
In the Scouts, Chin learned many life skills like arts, crafts, and interacting with his peers. However, his favorite part of it was camping. “It was one of the real fun things about Scouting,” he said. “Having the opportunity to be outdoors and not be in urban setting is a nice change, hanging out with friends, and being in tents and eating outdoors and gaining skills is great. Those are my favorite memories.”
It also helped that participating in the Scouts runs in the family. “My grandfather was a Scoutmaster, my father and his brothers were all in Boy Scouting. My mother and siblings are in Scouting as well,” he said, adding that it inspired him to continue the tradition. “It was really great. My grandfather would tell me stories about what they did. It was really cool to hear they did Scouting as well.”
One of Chin’s greatest accomplishments came on May 7 at St. Anselm School where he became an Eagle Scout. “It was a long and work-filled journey,” he said. “It was a great end to all the Scouting I’ve done. I remember all the cool things I did when I was younger and seeing the older Scouts that came before me. Now I’m in their place and taking on the role of leader.”
That is a role that Chin has learned not only from the Scouts, but during other endeavors as well. “I feel like the whole Scouting process got me started on being a leader, not just in Boy Scouting. On my school teams, I execute some things I’ve learned outside.”
Chin, who recently graduated from Stuyvesant High School, is the former captain of the school’s Robotics Team, a huge passion of his. “Outside of my school, I helped mentor and train teach Robotics Teams around the city,” he said. “I also help new mentors.”
But, it was his Eagle Scout project that made a true impact on his neighborhood by addressing the erosion issue at Owl’s Head Park. “I definitely wanted to do something in the park. It’s my favorite place to go and relax,” he said.
According to Chin, tons of soil was running off into the streets every year, resulting in dirty and visually unappealing sidewalks, and also causing the water treatment plant right across the highway from the park to have to work harder to accomplish its task.
“My project consists of a terrace on the southern side of Owl’s Head Park, built to stop dirt from coming down onto the sidewalk,” he wrote. “Next to the terraces, grass pods were added to add roots to the soil, further stopping the erosion. In addition, the tree pits in the area were dug out about two inches to clear out the excess soil in the pits. As a side addition project, a small portion of the park was dug out so that it could be used as a garden in the future.”
With the help of Chin and volunteers, the project was a big success.
In the fall, he will be attending Stony Brook University to study engineering. However, he will always value his high school years. “It was definitely one of the better experiences of life, not just in class, but the extra stuff I was doing,” he said. “I learned to deal with being a leader and managing others. I definitely learned about myself.”