Adi Lankipalle (‘23) collects clothing donations for an Indian orphanage to complete Eagle scout rank

Adi Lankipalle (‘23) showcases the dozens of badges he’s collected over his Boy Scout career. (Adi Lankipalle)

From scuba diving in the Florida Keys to spelunking in caverns to overnight backpacking trips in the wilderness, Boy Scouts cover a wide range of exciting, adventurous activities. In sixth grade, following his brother’s example, Adi Lankipalle (‘23) joined the program. 

“I admired the opportunity to bond with similar-minded people, make new friends, and explore [the outdoors],” said Lankipalle. 

The program is far from all fun and games, however. The BSA (Boy Scouts of America) aims to teach academic, citizenship, and leadership skills that can serve scouts throughout the rest of their lives. As such, Boy Scouts perform community service, improve their physical and mental wellbeing, and adhere to the Scout Oath and Scout Law. 

Over the years, Lankipalle has held a variety of positions ranging from Instructor to Troop Guide to Senior Patrol Leader—a position which deemed him responsible for over 70 youth Boy Scouts.  

The Eagle Scout Rank is the final and most difficult to achieve of the Boy Scout ranks, with only 2% of all scouts having earned it. This is due in part to its extensive requirements: mastery of 21 fundamental skills including merit badges, leadership credentials, and an eagle project. 

The eagle project is a community-centered project designed to be the culmination of a scout’s work. For his project, Lankipalle decided to organize a massive clothes drive for the Sai Seva Trust orphanage in Telangana. 

“Every few years, me and my family visit India, in which we spend a week travelling to villages and schools in rural areas to observe and help impoverished youths. Observing the problems afflicting children in these areas…I wanted to give back to my international community and to my country of origin,” said Lankipalle. 

Jamilla Zuniga

The idea was quickly commended by those around him. 

“Seeing [Adi] raise money for such a good cause and give back to our homeland is so good to see… while doing all of this, he stayed a great friend to me, and he never bragged about it, [which shows] how humble he is,” said Sid Mane (‘23). 

The project was executed through four phases—promotion, collection, cleaning, and sorting. In the promotion stage, volunteers advertised around town with with posters and flyers. Three drop-off locations were opened in Pleasanton and San Ramon, where volunteers managed a heavy influx of donations. 

After being thoroughly cleaned, the clothes were sorted by viability, gender, and size. They were then packed into shipping boxes, those that would later be sent to the beneficiary. 

In the end, over 423 hours were put into the project, which involved over 50 volunteers and the collection of 8500 articles of clothing and shoes. 

“Throughout the course of my project, I encountered numerous roadblocks due to changing COVID-19 rules and regulations… However, through these numerous challenges, I gained a great deal of experience in planning, spontaneous [decision making], and taking on numerous leadership roles,” said Lankipalle. 

His dedication and work ethic during his eagle project was evident to his peers as well. 

“Adi exemplifies what it truly means to be a scout. He is uplifting, brings the best out of everyone around him, and is the hardest worker that I know,” said Praket Akshantala (‘22).

Nevertheless, whether an Eagle Scout rank or a newcomer to Boy Scouts, Lankipalle maintains that the program is a rewarding experience for all.  

“Boy Scouts is a unique program that provides you with things you can’t get anywhere else—the opportunity to make new friends, become a better person by following scouting’s ideals and principles, [explore] the outdoors and nature, [and learn] new skills,” said Lankipalle.