Over the next few weeks, the Daily Times will be doing a series of stories about some remarkable young men in the area. These gentlemen have been striving to reach the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest scouting honor.
Through their hard work, these young men have set out to make our community a better place.
Becoming an Eagle Scout is no easy task, the Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills before his eighteenth birthday.
Part of becoming an Eagle Scout is completing an Eagle Scout Service Project. The project provides an opportunity for the Scout to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of his community. This is the culmination of the Scout’s leadership training, and it requires a significant effort on his part.
For his Eagle Project, Aaron Bazler of Simon Kenton Council Troop 12, set up a new wooden bench swing set at the Nature Center in the Shawnee State Forest, where patrons can sit down and relax, enjoying the sights and sounds the park has to offer.
The area features five bench swings, centered around a fire pit, which was constructed prior to Bazler’s swings. Bazler said he was partly inspired by a similar structure located at the Greenbo Lodge.
“I have always enjoyed the outdoors,” said Bazler. “Jenny Richards, our local naturalist, inspired me to construct a project near the Nature Center for nature lovers to enjoy while also providing a natural setting for educational opportunities. I spoke to my parents and we all agreed this would be a great project to take before the BSA committee.”
Bazler says that securing $1,500 in funds to purchase the wood, swings and concrete was a large undertaking, but the community was very supportive in helping him raise the funds. Those who contributed to the project are recognized on plaques above each swing.
According to Naturalist Jenny Richards, the swings are seeing great use by Nature Center visitors.
“It has greatly enhanced the nature center area,” Richards explained. “Everyone gathers there. We use them during archery programs and we hang out while people wait to shoot. I’ve been contacted by other parks and they want to build them. They have been admired and used by everyone who comes. Aaron is amazing.”
Bazler currently attends Notre Dame High school and has plans to attend college and pursue a career in the medical field in the Fall of 2017.
“I plan to use the skills I’ve obtained in scouting to help me achieve this goal,” said Bazler. “Whether it’s communicating with patients, leading community projects, budgeting my tuition, or hiking the Appalachian Trail to experience the outdoors, scouting will always be a part of my future endeavors.”
Portsmouth Daily Times – Ciara Conley @PDT_Ciara