Most high school seniors can pick up any device and quickly navigate through any new app on their iPhone, iPad, or Android. It’s a form of communication far different from their parents’ or grandparents’ generation.

Jackson Barlow, grandson of Springmoor residents Jim and Faye Bundy, saw this as an opportunity to help his granddad’s friends at Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community learn to navigate technology better. He also began thinking about this as he helped in the Computer Lab. He realized the residents wanted to learn how to use their own devices to communicate with their family and friends. Subsequently, his Eagle Scout service project, Social Media, Senior Style, was born out of his desire to help Springmoor residents become more familiar with the basics of how to use their smart phones and computers.

Springmoor - Boy Scout Jackson Barlow
Boy Scout Jackson Barlow teaches tech to seniors as an Eagle Scout Service project.

The first step in his project was to find out what devices and applications the residents wanted to learn how to use. He sent a short survey to everyone asking detailed questions so that he could design a class that worked for everyone. He was pleased when more than 40 responses were returned.

He divided the classes into two different groups: one for Apple devices and the second for Android or Windows devices. There were some who wanted to learn to text and send photographs. Some wanted to know how to send an email; others wanted to learn how to FaceTime with their grandchildren. A few asked for help setting up new devices.

Jackson, with his team of three other Boy Scouts, provided one-on-one assistance to everyone in the class. He sent each participant home with homework, asking them to experiment with their devices and apps. They all returned the following week with questions. The two sessions proved to be a successful experience for Springmoor’s seniors and the Boy Scouts too.

PS: Barlow’s Eagle rank was awarded to him on December 30, 2016.