Teeing Off and Giving Back: Eagle Scout Project Helps Shape Up Sunrise UMC Disc Golf Course

While many young men have spent their time in quarantine playing video games or watching TikTok for hours on end, West Forsyth High School student Sriman Katragadda was busy giving back to his community and working hard to become an Eagle Scout. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted Sriman to find a safe way to give back to the community without putting himself and his team of helpers at risk. After doing some research, Sriman stumbled upon a great opportunity to give back while spending time outdoors—two things that are near and dear to his heart.

Achieving Eagle rank in Boy Scouts is no simple feat. To earn this ranking, scouts must fulfill a number of requirements, which include earning at least 21 merit badges, serving in a position of responsibility, and completing a service project for the community. For his Eagle Scout project, Sriman wanted to make a huge impact. The popular Sunrise Disc Golf Course at Sunrise United Methodist Church is much loved among locals and Sunrise UMC church members. Since it is maintained solely by volunteers and donations, Sriman decided that he could benefit his community by giving the course some much-needed TLC.

Orchestrated by Sunrise UMC members Jimmy Williams and Darren Hickerson, construction on the nine-hole disc golf course commenced in 2018. Since that year, the Sunrise Disc Golf Course has been a hot commodity in the Lewisville community, and happens to be free of charge to the public. The course allows for wholesome family fun for all ages that takes place in nature, as opposed to in front of a television or tablet screen. Even while he and his team were working on the project during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sriman recalls seeing 15 to 20 disc golf players enjoying themselves throughout the course.

The project concluded this year on Saturday, March 20th, and took place over two Saturdays for four to five hours each day. The woods surrounding the course needed to be cleared for tee number 18, as the area was completely overgrown with bushes and debris from the church playground. Throughout the project, Sriman was pleased to have plenty of help from his fellow troop members from Troop 934, in addition to the help of adults. The group cleared wood and debris in order to build six platforms for disc golf players to stand on in order to throw their discs (tees 6, 7, 8, 9, 15, and 18). After digging a couple of inches into the ground for each platform’s wooden base, crushed granite was used to level the tees out. Papers and sand were added to fill in any remaining holes.

Four years ago, Sriman joined Boy Scouts due to his love of camping and being outdoors. Once he started becoming more involved with his troop, he was surprised to learn about the numerous volunteer activities he would have the opportunity to partake in. Although the project isn’t complete until it has been approved by the Senior Patrol Leader and the Old Hickory Council, Sriman is on the fast track to earning his Eagle rank. He is grateful to have had such a supportive troop and parents, and was pleased that the group ran into very few obstacles while performing manual labor for the course renovation. Sriman thanks the volunteers from Troop 934, Sunrise United Methodist Church, and Darren Hickerson for all of their support throughout the project.

While Sriman is currently only 14 years old, after graduating from high school, he hopes to attend college and major in a science-based field. In his free time, he enjoys biking and playing basketball. Additionally, he is an avid piano player and has been taking lessons for six years.

Interested in volunteering at, or donating to, the Sunrise Disc Golf Course? Visit sunrise-umc.org for more information on the course and for ways to get involved. Contact Jimmy Williams or Darren Hickerson via e-mail at jamesdw@triad.rr.com and hickersd@yahoo.com. For more information, call Jimmy at (336) 971-2517, or Darren at (919) 698-2526.


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