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Getting Heritage Work Done Through Eagle Scout Projects

November 16, 2016

For heritage organizations, Eagle Scout projects can accomplish two things: engage youth and get work done. That is the experience the Gleason Cemetery and the Oswego Heritage Council had when they each had an important project completed by a Boy Scout in pursuit of Eagle Scout status.

Planning and completing a service project is the last step for a boy scout to become an Eagle Scout. Boy Scouts can choose a project that benefits the community and Payton Becker and David Rollins decided to carry out their projects at local heritage sites.

Gleason Cemetery20160514_134515-min
When Payton Becker first came across the Gleason Cemetery outside of Molalla, he was shocked. The trail leading up to the cemetery from the road was barely accessible and the ivy vines and blackberry bushes covered the headstones. Through Payton’s hard work and with the help of work parties of friends and family, he was able to clear ivy and blackberry bushes and reveal twenty-one headstones and two walking trails. He was also able to draw up a map of the cemetery’s layout. Although the project took an immense amount of labor, Payton found it rewarding to be able to uncover a piece of forgotten history and hopes it helps the local historical society.

Ore Cart.JPGOswego Heritage Council
David Rollins was inspired by his grandfather when he was deciding on his Eagle Scout project. His grandfather is involved with Oswego Heritage Council, an organization that preserves Lake Oswego history. A large part of that history is the iron industry that helped build the town. David’s project involved reconstructing an iron ore cart and creating a display in the gardens of the historic Oswego Heritage House along with an interpretive sign. It was a truly unique project as David had to do quite a bit of research in order to be able to reconstruct this iron ore cart and find a company to accurately reproduce parts of it. This display was part of the organization’s larger plan to provide additional interpretive opportunities, including a new permanent exhibit that opened in November 2016. For more information you can visit Oswego Heritage Council’s website.

Both of these projects helped bring history to life and not only benefited the Scout accomplishing the project, but also helped two heritage organizations accomplish something that they might otherwise may not have been able to accomplish. So if you are a heritage organization that has a project that you think might be perfect for an Eagle Scout project, it might be worth contacting your local Boy Scout Troops to see if someone is looking for a service project to complete.

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