Eagle Scout Project Ben­e­fits River­bank’s Ja­cob My­ers Park

Riverbank News - - FRONT PAGE - BY RIC McGIN­NIS

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 com-

mu­ni­ca­tions 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.

RIC MCGIN­NIS/THE NEWS

While scout lead­ers use power equip­ment to dig a post hole in the hard pan dirt of Ja­cob My­ers Park, scouts work on an ad­ja­cent hole in an Eagle Scout project. Aidan Pink, left cen­ter in tan hat, is a River­bank scout and a mem­ber of Troop 9 in Ceres. He brought his crew to add more rail­ings along the access road that leads to Lot B, the over­flow park­ing area on the west end of Ja­cob My­ers Park.

RIC MCGIN­NIS/THE NEWS

As Scouts and lead­ers of Boy Scout Troop 9, of Ceres, work to put in screws and raise a rail­ing be­ing built along the access road to Lot B, project co­or­di­na­tor Aidan Pink, stand­ing at left, over­sees the work at the west end of Ja­cob My­ers Park. Pink’s best friend’s grand­fa­ther is scout­mas­ter of the troop.

RIC MCGIN­NIS/THE NEWS

Adult lead­ers wran­gle a mo­tor­ized post hole dig­ger, sink­ing 24-inch deep holes to mount rail­ings along the drive lead­ing to Park­ing Lot B in the west end of Ja­cob My­ers Park. The park­ing is used as over­flow dur­ing week­ends dur­ing the busy sum­mer sea­son. The project was or­ga­nized and led by 12-year-old prospec­tive Eagle Scout Aidan Pink of River­bank.

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