|Nathan McVay puts in the last fasteners on the Mac's Trail bench at Boggs Mountain State Forest in Lake County, Calif. Courtesy photo.|
MIDDLETOWN, Calif. – It has been a very busy year working on Eagle service projects for the Boy Scouts of Troop 315 of Middletown, Hidden Valley Lake and Cobb.
An Eagle Project is the opportunity for a Scout to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of any religious institution, school or his community. It is one of the requirements to advance to Eagle Scout, the highest rank for a Boy Scout.
The projects all involved hard physical labor well over 200 man-hours for several volunteers, and gave the scouts opportunities to “do a good turn,” as the BSA slogan goes, for their communities.
Troop 315 is a Boy Scout unit sponsored by the Hidden Valley Lake Association.
The first Eagle service project commenced in January, and received financial sponsorship by the Friends of Boggs Mountain (FOBM) for the construction of two redwood benches at Boggs Mountain State Forest.
Nathan McVay, 16, led the construction of the benches, pulling together a work crew of scouts and parents.
The late winter rains delayed progress, but eventually, man and horse were able to haul lumber, cement and power tools up and down steep trails.
One of the benches is located on Mac’s Trail, at a sharp bend on a steep switchback. The other bench is located in a shady grove near the creek on the Interpretive Trail.
Mike Kasper, FOBM board member who oversaw the project, was pleased with the outcome. “That bench on Mac’s Trail is at a great spot where you can catch your breath and enjoy views of Cobb Mountain, and the Interpretive Trail bench is a wonderful spot for quiet solitude and meditation,” he says.
Nathan was awarded his Eagle rank in May.
The second project was an even greater logistical challenge, requiring special equipment and expertise to transport and install a 40-foot flagpole at the newly-refurbished athletic field at Middletown High School.
|Charles Hoberg proudly raises the flag on his newly-installed flagpole at the athletic field at Middletown High School in Middletown, Calif. Courtesy photo.|
Newly-minted Eagle Scout, Charles Hoberg, who just recently turned 18, said the the idea to build the flagpole was originally proposed by Principal Bill Roderick.
“I thought it would be a great project,” Charles recollected, “but didn’t realize just how tough it was to get funding and even looking where to get a 40-ft. flagpole. It’s not the kind of thing people buy everyday.”
Fortunately, Charles was able to obtain generous support from Calpine, who donated more than $1,500 toward the purchase of the flagpole, as well as other community businesses such as Hardester’s Markets, Minudri Insurance, Twin Pine Casino, the Lions and Rotary Clubs, and many others including friends and family.
This ambitious undertaking was successfully completed in May, and adds a finishing touch to the MHS athletic stadium.
The most recently-completed Eagle service project was the construction of raised garden boxes for the Middletown Community Garden, led by a very young Eagle candidate, 14-year-old Liam Stahl.
The idea was suggested by Lake County Hunger Task Force board member Phyllis Kelsey, who shares part of her property in Butts Canyon to cultivate produce that would be harvested and donated to local food banks such as those organized by the Middletown United Methodist Church and Catholic Charities.
The project involved building four garden boxes, a shelter for the irrigation system, and posting a large sign off Loconomi Road to indicate the location of the garden for volunteers.
Once more, Calpine and Hardester’s Markets provided financial support, as did the good folks from the Hunger Task Force. Lake County Waste Solutions provided compost free of charge and Layne Paving delivered top soil at a discount.
As of the end of July, a good variety of veggies were thriving in these boxes, including zucchini, jalapeño peppers, cucumbers and melons.
The troop offers its sincere thanks to all the youth, adults, businesses and nonprofit organizations who’ve provided their time, expertise and financial support toward these worthy causes. And most of all, many thanks to the Boy Scouts who led these projects for a job well done.
|Liam Stahl and his completed garden project for the Hunger Task Force in Butts Canyon near Middletown, Calif. Courtesy photo.|