As a fourth grader at Valley Grove Elementary School, Karson King frequently visited the office of his father, Jamie, who was the dean at the school.
There, he would often see American flags that Jamie, who was also involved with the Boy Scouts as an assistant troop leader, had gathered to be retired.
“I don’t know how many flags I had,” Jamie King said. “They were in little storage containers — there were probably two dozen. He was like, we need to get those retired.”
The thought stayed with Karson. Nearly a decade later, it became an idea for his Eagle Scout project — an undertaking which has provided six locations around the city with four-foot flag donation boxes. The boxes, which resemble small podiums, have spring-loaded lids to allow folded flags to be placed neatly inside.
For Jamie — who also became an Eagle Scout in his youth — seeing his son turn the idea into a service project to benefit the community represented a full-circle moment. Karson is a member of Chesterfield Christian Church Boy Scout Troop 230, where Jamie serves as an assistant scoutmaster.
“I’m super proud and I know it’s going to afford him way more opportunities than he would have normally,” Jamie said. “He’s already a good student, so this just adds to it.”
Karson King declined to be interviewed for this story, mainly, Jamie said, because of his desire that attention would be focused on the project and not himself.
“He’s always been kind of a natural leader,” Jamie said. “He was our troop’s senior patrol leader for several times, they kept voting him in. This last time, he was like, I don’t want it. He wants other people to have that opportunity.”
Karson and his grandfather, Jim King, recently dropped off the first flag donation box at the Anderson Community Schools administration building, where Superintendent Joe Cronk congratulated the AHS senior.
“Karson’s initiative...stands out as an innovative and essential service for the Anderson area,” Cronk said. “It’s a thrill to acknowledge one of our outstanding students who not only demonstrated the necessary skills to attain the Eagle Scout rank.”