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Santa House becomes Eagle Scout project

Jeremy Martinez learns landscaping, leadership

by Katie Arvia

LANSING, Ill. (November 11, 2018) – Jeremy Martinez has been involved with the Boy Scouts for eight years. Over the years, he moved up through the Scouting ranks and earned different merit badges for his achievements. To become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouts, Martinez needed to complete a leadership project. By attending a Village Board meeting, he found one.

“Back in January [of] this year, my Boy Scout Troop attended a city board meeting, and the city was asking about what they wanted to do for the Santa House,” Martinez explained. “Me and my scoutmaster talked to Mr. Reynolds [and said] I can landscape the Santa House for my Eagle Scout Project.”

Throughout the next few months, Martinez worked with Village Communications Director Ken Reynolds and Village Clerk Vivian Payne to finalize the project’s details. Martinez also worked closely with his parents and scoutmaster to develop his plans.

“In the past, I have helped some of my fellow Scouts with their Eagle Projects, but I have not developed a project other than this one,” Martinez said.

Because of the amount of work involved, Martinez needed thorough planning and a team approach. On October 27, Martinez was joined by his family, friends, and troop members at the Santa House to begin the landscaping. Originally, the team planned on working from 9:30am to 3:00pm, but thanks to large group of supporters, Martinez had his project finished ahead of schedule.

Although he initially wanted to landscape around the entire Santa House, Martinez and Reynolds agreed that he would be responsible for only the front entrance and one side of the house. This way, other Scouts could potentially finish the landscaping for their Eagle Scout projects, or the Village can complete it any way they see fit.

Jeremy Martinez wanted to landscape around the entire Santa House for his Eagle Scout project, but he agreed to leave two sides for others. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Completed in time for the holiday season, the landscaping project was also a success for Martinez, who can now proudly say he is an Eagle Scout. Martinez said, “I would just like to say, from personal experience, that Boy Scouts is a great way to have fun, learn good life skills, and make friends. It also allows boys to become young men.”

Santa will be arriving in Lansing on December 1, and he’ll be visiting with children in the Santa House from 6:00–8:00pm, after the lighting of the Village Christmas tree at 5:00pm. The rest of his December schedule at the House is as follows:

  • Wednesdays (December 5, 12, and 19), 6:00–8:00pm
  • Fridays (December 7, 14, and 21), 6:00–8:00pm
  • Saturdays (December 8 and 15), 1:00–3:00pm

The Santa House is located at 18106 Henry Street in Lansing, immediately north of the Fox Pointe stage.


Katie Arvia
Katie Arvia
Katie is a lifelong Lansing native who currently works full-time in marketing while also freelance reporting for The Lansing Journal. In 2015, she graduated with high honors from Saint Xavier University in Chicago with a BA in English, and she plans to pursue a Master's degree in the near future. Her favorite Lansing Journal assignments include coverage of TF South High School's walkout ("Demonstrating the possibilities") and her St. Patrick's Day interview with her grandma ("St. Patrick's Day traditions: reflections of an Irish granddaughter").