MATTHEW SHERBURNE NAMED EAGLE SCOUT OF THE YEAR
Matthew Sherburne loves being outdoors. The Bluffton High School senior enjoys mountain climbing, biking, and being on the water with the Hilton Head Island Crew team.
He also enjoys helping others. Always has. Sherburne joined the Cub Scouts in third grade with his twin brother, Andrew, thinking he’d do some camping, learn survival skills and have fun. But he quickly learned he could help make a difference in the community.
“I found out that helping people in a time of need and being a better person is what I wanted to go after,” Sherburne said. “Overall, it was a win-win: having fun and helping people.”
Sherburne has been a Boy Scout for eight years — he’s a member of Bluffton Boy Scout Troop 241 — and has enjoyed the opportunity to impact the community, including serving Thanksgiving dinners for those in need, being an overnight host for Family Promise of Bluffton, and being involved in a variety of community service projects.
His efforts to give back were recognized recently as Sherburne was named 2020 Eagle Scout of the Year by the South Carolina Department of the American Legion.
Sherburne was recognized for his Eagle Scout project, the construction of a 24-foot-long by 8-foot-high grape arbor for the Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton. Sherburne said building the structure was meaningful because being a member of the Boys & Girls Club had been a big part of his life since he was 6 years old.
“They gave so much to me,” he said. “It was a great experience. My mom worked late at night and (the Club) helped me do new things and meet new people. They helped me and my brother try new experiences.”
Sherburne said the project was a challenge because neither he nor his mom had experience in construction, but he was determined to make it happen. He received help from many people, including those in Troop 241, Lord of Life Lutheran Church, and Habitat for Humanity.
“They were very supportive,” said Sherburne, whose brother, Andrew, is also an Eagle Scout. “Without them it wouldn’t have gotten done. I learned that it’s OK to be inexperienced; if you have teamwork you can get things done.”
The project also inspired him to focus on a potential major in college. He plans to study to be a civil or electrical engineer. Sherburne has applied to Georgia Tech, Clemson, Boston University and the University of South Carolina.
Being a scout has been fulfilling, Sherburne said, and allowed him to experience different cultures and backgrounds.
In 2019, he attended the World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia. The event aims to bring youngsters together to promote peace and mutual understanding and to develop leadership and life skills, according to its website. Sherburne said for 12 days he enjoyed meeting people from around the world and learning about various ways of life.
“It was an eye opener,” said Sherburne, who noted he remains in touch with people from the jamboree.
With the Boy Scouts Sherburne was able to go sailing in the Florida Keys at the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base. He saw stars at night and learned to sail a schooner.
For Sherburne, being a scout has truly been worthwhile.
“Through my experiences, the people treat you like family; you develop long-lasting friendships that will last a lifetime,” Sherburne said.