Submitted by Kevin O’Brien
Well, they are at it again! Those energetic boys at Troop 109 in French Camp. Over the past four weeks they have completed four Eagle Scout Projects in and around French Camp. For those of you who are unaware, an Eagle Scout Project is a service project that is one of the final stages of young man who has been on the trail to reaching the highest rank in Scouting – The Eagle Scout.
In addition to his merit badges, nights camping and positions of leadership to prove he is ready for this honor, he must plan and lead a service project that will benefit a charitable organization or non-profit. This project is a test of his leadership skill and all he has accomplished in Scouting – it all comes together here. In this service project he must think about the tools he will need, raise funds for the project as well as coordinate with adults and Scout to be there at the right time to pull it off. It can exceed over 250 hours of the young man’s time and energy.
The first Scouts to reach this level in Troop 109 were Jonathan Duarte of Memphis, TN and Stephen Seago of Madison, both boarding students at French Camp Academy. Their chosen projects were to improve existing and new hiking trails in and around the Camp of the Rising Son (www.campoftherisingson.com). The boys with 20 plus volunteers braved a cold Saturday morning to accomplish the completion of four bridges (one 30 foot bridge and three 16 foot bridges).
As the day progressed they had to overcome many obstacles and make decisions as the bridges came together. In the end a decision was made to divide one of the 16 foot bridges into two smaller 8 foot bridges. These bridges will allow hikers to cross creeks and ravines without the fear of falling in as well as assisting in the prevention of erosion.
The second group of Scouts chose to combine resources and complete their projects for the Rainwater Observatory (www.rainwater.org). Many people from all over the mid-south travel to the Rainwater Observatory for an opportunity to look at God’s creation through the many telescopes available. Some of those who come to Rainwater like to camp and/or cook over an open fire. Prior to this past weekend the campsite were set up as temporary and had run into bad repair.
David Pendleton of French Camp Troop 109 and Kyle Lucas of Ackerman Troop 41 planned and coordinated the construction of five permanent fire rings and benches to surround each ring. This required the destruction of the old campsites and the excavation of sites to recess the new fire rings. The projects were completed in a timely fashion regardless of the fact that there was a steady rain throughout the morning phase of the project.