Robert Coghlan IV, St. Pius X High School Class of 2017, entered the Boys Scouts of America in the first grade as a Cub Scout. He worked his way through the ranks to become a Life Scout by eighth grade and had all of his Eagle Scout merits complete before entering the ninth grade at St. Pius X.
Robert's father, Dr. Robert Coghlan III, recalls that he studied the Eagle Scout Rank requirements soon after becoming a Boy Scout.
"When he transitioned from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, he sat down with the book and only wanted to do the merit badges that were Eagle ones," the elder Coghlan said. "So he started knocking all those out and then he started trying to do some of the fun ones."
To date, Coghlan has earned 28 merit badges – seven more than are required for Eagle Rank.
Another requirement to become an Eagle Scout is to complete a service project. Coghlan wanted to complete a project for St. Pius X, so he turned to Director of the Office for Campus Ministry, Patrick Spedale for ideas.
"We gave several suggestions to Robert and he was most interested in the outdoor Stations of the Cross," Spedale said. "We wanted something that was not permanent, but sturdy, and could be displayed during Lent."
According to his father, the project seemed to tie together Robert's faith, his school and Boys Scouts perfectly. And so it began.
Coghlan proceeded to raise his own money for the project. Then, with some help from his grandfather and uncle, and in coordination with Spedale, Coghlan researched, designed, built and installed a 15-set Stations of the Cross in the Mason Sebastian Ott Memorial Prayer Garden on campus. The Belgian ceramic tile and wood stations were displayed during Lent for members of the SPX community to make the journey of the stations each Friday. The project took about five months to complete.
"My dad pushed me to get the project done before I turned 18, in order to earn the award," Coghlan said. "I became a better leader and learned to finish something I started through this project."
"He wanted to do something that would last and that would leave a lasting legacy for the school," Dr. Coghlan said. "St. Pius X has given us so much, we needed to give back something."
Coghlan hopes to have everything complete in order to earn his Eagle Scout Rank this summer. Eagle Scout is the highest advancement rank in Scouting.