Friends, family and fellow troop members gathered at Jacob Myers Park to work on an Eagle Scout project this past week.
Riverbank resident Aidan Pink, 12, is working on achieving his goal by completing the advancement to scouting’s highest level. The Eagle Project is one of the final steps toward reaching the goal.
Pink and his crew, members of Troop 9 in Ceres, were working on continuing a new railing along the access road in Jacob Myers Park that links the main area to the new Lot B in the west end of the park, near the loop trail and McRitchie Campground. It is utilized during peak usage for parking, over summer weekends when attendance at the park is at its highest.
“This will keep cars from going into the wildlife area,” said Pink. “This will help keep campers and hikers safe. It will also help the park rangers because they go out every weekend to put cones out where the fence will go.”
The Eagle ceremony is not planned as of yet due to Pink having a few more steps to take before he completes his Eagle status including a scoutmaster conference and a board of review.
“Being in the Boy Scouts taught me many useful life lessons, such as leadership skills including the communications merit badge and Eagle project,” expressed Pink. “It also taught me many practical skills, such as knot tying, cooking, and boating.”
Participating in the weeklong camps like the Utica summer camp in 2016, in 2017 the Eastman Lake summer camp, and planning on attending the Spicer Reservoir camp this July has been something that Pink really enjoyed during his time with the scouts.
“I got to where I am so fast because I have been very motivated to get my Eagle at an early age,” stated Pink. “The first few ranks have no waiting time, so I did multiple requirements for different ranks at one time including earning merit badges. Each summer camp, they offer many merit badges and I did every one I could. I know that one day my Eagle rank will help me find a good job and I know that Boy Scout skills will help me in everyday situations.”
When asked why a Riverbank Scout went out of town to find a troop to join, he said that his best friend’s grandfather is the Scoutmaster of the Ceres troop that was founded in 1911.
Pink’s father explained how the project came to Riverbank. He said the scouts had applied to do one in the City of Modesto months ago, back in February, but ended up getting only a “red tape runaround,” so they instead looked elsewhere.
Since they happen to live next door to Friends of Jacob Myers Park founder and former president Scott McRitchie, the connection was made and the project came to fruition through the city Parks and Recreation Department’s Director Sue Fitzpatrick.
Past Eagle projects are evident in improvements throughout Jacob Myers Park, with many completed in recent years. They include the rail fencing built around the Bicentennial Grove, bird nests erected along the walking path and the Wedding Gazebo, also built along the path.
The Eagle Scout award is a performance-based achievement, the standards of which have been well maintained over 118 years since BSA was founded in 1910. There is a special significance, not only in Scouting, but in higher education, business or industry, and community service for those attaining the achievement.
Although president John F. Kenney was the first who was a Boy Scout, Gerald R. Ford, the 38th president of the United States, from 1974-77, was the first who was an Eagle Scout as a boy.
Only a small percentage of Boy Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle, other notables include science fiction and fantasy writer L. Ron Hubbard and film producer, Academy Award winning and highest grossing director of all time, Steven Spielberg.
News Reporter Virginia Still contributed to this story.