In the IB, it's pretty rigorous. It's tough trying to be an athlete and also be in the program. It takes really good time management skills. You have to take three high-level classes. They're much more in depth than the standard classes and you also have to do a research paper. I started that over the summer. I'm writing mine on the oysters and the Chesapeake Bay, like the rise and decline. I was actually just talking about it because the recent rain might really affect oyster populations. Because it's a fresh and salt [water] mix they need. Too much fresh water from the rain can kill them.

As an Eagle Scout, what did you enjoy most about scouting?

Camaraderie. Three of my best friends I met doing that. And I've gotten in some awesome trips, especially one to the Florida Keys. We had to paddle like 10 miles in the wind to get to this deserted island to camp there. We did all sorts of fun things, like fishing and snorkeling. It's an awesome experience. It opened a lot of doors for me.


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What did you do for your Eagle Scout project?

The elementary school I went to is adjacent to a park (Essex Farms Park). I played baseball there when I was little. I was in contact with what was the Jones Falls Watershed Association because I was looking to do something nature-wise. We noticed that a lot of the trees there had a lot of ivy, foreign invaders like poison ivy, English ivy, Japanese honeysuckle and all these things. If you don't watch them, they can just overrun trees and kill them. Also, when it rains, pesticides on your grass will wash into the stream if the trees don't soak up the water, and that leads to fish kills and other things like that. I got approvals and made a brochure to give out throughout the neighborhood and I told them I would take care of the vines on their property if they wanted me to, but a lot of them were already doing that. I was able to gather about 40-plus volunteers, friends from school. Over one weekend, we were able to eradicate and lop off the vines from over 200 trees. Afterward, I was picking up garbage out of the stream and old tires and glass. The process of killing the vines was if you cut a section at the base of the tree and take out a two-foot section from above that, then the nutrients at the bottom can't reach the top and it all dies. It takes a month or two and the rest of it just falls off. A lot of these trees never had the opportunity to lose those vines and some of [the vines] were the size of your leg. It takes like an hour to cut.

How did you get interested in so many outdoor sports?

Some of it stems from my grandfather. We had a beach house in Bethany Beach, Del., and he'd take me surf fishing and I fell in love with it. I love it more than I do football. Skiing, I learned from my parents. We used to visit one of my aunts who lived in New York, around Buffalo, and after I got better, we started traveling out west to places like Beaver Creek, Colo., [and] Beaver Valley, Ontario.

So fishing is your favorite?

Without a doubt. I just do everything for fishing — surf fishing, fly fishing. Time is more of an issue now, especially with the IB program. I didn't have that in ninth and 10th grade and I would go out almost every single weekend. I didn't have a car either, so I used to have to ask my mom or I'd ask my uncle to take me. I remember one time, probably it was February, when it was absolutely freezing, but I had to get out there. There was no I way I could be stuck inside, so my mom took me out to White Hall, which is a favorite fishing spot of mine along the NCR trail. It was probably 35 degrees out. I waded into the river and I didn't have any gloves on, which was probably not a great idea, and I started getting really, really cold. The rod, where the line is, started to freeze over and I'd have to keep getting rid of the ice, but I caught some really great fish.

What has been your favorite adventure trip?

Definitely the Wyoming trip this summer. I always wanted to go out there, and my dad had a conference, and he let me go on a one-day trip by myself and another one with him, fly fishing guided trips. It was awesome out there. Out west, it's so serene.

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

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