Spring in Clarke County is a great time of year to spot eagles on the wing, but along with our fine feathered friends, there is a whole different group of eagles attempting to soar to new heights in our area. Scouts around the county are busy completing projects to fulfill requirements for the top honor of Eagle Scout. This final step in their process must be designed, planned, and completed as a leadership project which is documented at each step and reviewed by the Scout Council after completion.
Standing near the busy playground in Chet Hobert Park, Scout Master Chuck Marrow explained the nature of the projects scouts select. “Each project must come from a community organization, so we see a lot of projects in park settings, community center, nursing homes and retirement communities.”
When seventeen year old Andrew (Andy) Justice was contemplating his project, he approached the Clarke County Parks and Recreation Department to see if there was anything they needed. “They suggested an information kiosk near the playground, so I used the other kiosks in the park for the design and chose that as my project.”
Once his project was approved by the Scout Council, Andy needed to pay for the project. Some Eagle Scout candidates hold fund raising events like car washes or bake sales, but Andy decided to dig into is own pockets for his project. He used money he had earned in the park where his planned project would reside. “I refereed soccer games here in the park and saved up some money so it seemed like a good way to pay for the project.”
As construction proceeded on site early Saturday morning, Andy worked with a crew of other scouts from Troop #231 to sink the posts and mount the weatherproof cabinet that will protect the posted flyers and notifications. A key aspect of the task is the ability of the Eagle Scout candidate to manage his fellow scouts to accomplish a goal. With everyone contributing, the project moved quickly from beginning to finished product.
Andy’s mother, Sharon Justice watched from a distance and documented the effort. “Everything they do here is training them for the future. It is a great thing.”
Andy’s project now stands at one of the busiest points in the park and will serve as another link for the park to communicate events and activities to patrons.