Will Paris, a student at Houston County High School and a member of Troop 400 in Centerville, recently completed his Eagle Scout project.
The project, building a bridge on property owned by his church, Central Baptist, took more than a year from the idea stage to completion and incorporated 279 man hours.
Eagle projects, by definition, must be a service project that benefits an organization other than Boy Scouts.
Scouts often pick a school or church. In Wills case, when beginning to brainstorm ideas, he looked no further than his own church.
I wanted to do something that would benefit my church in some way, said Will. There is a nature trail on church property that is used by the church outdoor/camping ministry.
An Eagle Scout from another troop had mapped out the trail and created a self-guided tour of trees and plants on a section of it using kiosks placed nearby the trees and plants.
According to Will, some of the members of Central who are involved in the outdoor ministry suggested a bridge was needed at the bottom of a valley on the trail.
Will had a huge crew of volunteers assist with his project, which included several young people, Ben Tong, Jacob Vick, James Tinney, Jesse Bowling, Jordan Bruntjen, Kristopher Tressler, Logan Cowperthwaite, Stephen Brown, Theo VanDeWater, Trevor Pope and Troy Fogleman, along with adults Brian Vick, Jason Bowling, Jay Clary, Jere Cater, Lou Napolitano and Warner Paris.
The group started by clearing brush and a dead tree from the area where the bridge was to be built and then had to dig out and shore up a narrow drainage channel that would direct water downstream. They then built a bridge across the channel.
Along with providing a dry path for people to hike or bike, Wills project incorporated plenty of the Boy Scout philosophy about protecting the earth by helping to prevent erosion in the area.
Doing an Eagle Scout project is designed not only to teach scouts about doing a project but also about the planning that goes into one as well.
I actually spent more time on planning it than actually doing it, said Will. I learned during the project that good planning can ensure project success.
Will said that even with all the planning, there were still a few hiccups.
Most of the issues I encountered were material related. I didnt plan for enough concrete and nails. Also, I didnt have the right length of bolts for the main structure of the bridge. These issues required making several trips back to the hardware store but, all in all, things went great.
Troop 400 is lead by Scoutmaster Lou Napolitano and meets on Mondays at 7 p.m. at Centerville United Methodist Church. Through the years, the troop has participated in a number community service projects.
Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 or firstname.lastname@example.org.