Eagle Scout Thomas Bunning Honored as 2010 Adams Award Recipient

An Eagle project by Thomas Bunning to restore the Goat Hill Junction Train Station in Costa Mesa’s Fairview Park has been selected as the 2010 top Eagle Scout service project in the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America.  A member of Troop 636 in Rancho Santa Margarita, Bunning was honored as the Council’s first recipient of the Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year at the Orange County Council’s Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner on April 13, 2011.

The National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) established the Adams Award to recognize valuable service of an exceptional nature by a Scout to a religious institution, a school, community or other entity.  The award recognizes a Scout for his Eagle Scout leadership service project, which is part of the requirements for earning the Eagle Scout Award.

Each Council chooses a winner and from that pool, each region selects a region-level recipient.  A national winner is selected from the four regional finalists.

“I was very excited when I found out that I received the Adams Award because of both personal achievement and the recognition that the Orange County Model Engineers received,” said the 18-year-old Bunning.

Bunning demolished and rebuilt the covered train station waiting area for the Orange County Model Engineers (OCME) in Fairview Park.  The OCME is a nonprofit organization made up of volunteers who spend their weekends building model trains (large enough to ride).  One weekend each month is open to the public for free rides.

“Whenever the park is open, hundreds of people are there,” Bunning noted.  “The structure that I rebuilt was deteriorating from age and termite damage, so I tore down the entire thing and rebuilt it with stronger materials and according to newer city building codes.  The project took 16 days to complete, with a total of 59 volunteers and 1,431 hours of labor.  I raised $3,260 to pay for the materials.  The new structure should last at least 40 to 50 years.

The Mission Viejo High School senior said he chose the OCME for his project “because when I was little, I went to Fairview Park and rode the trains several times.  I still remember how much fun I had there and I wanted to give back to the organization so that they could continue to impact children for years to come.

Currently, an Assistant Scoutmaster in his troop, the Rancho Santa Margarita resident plans to attend either UCLA or Duke University in the fall and major in pre-medicine.  His career goal is to become a trauma surgeon.