For the past couple of months, I've had the opportunity to be a part of an Eagle Scout project. I just wanted to share my thoughts about that experience.
Due to the massive amounts of water that our county had received in the past couple of years, a popular trail in our area for ATVs had suffered some major wash-outs in the drainages. An attempt was made last fall to do the repair work needed to re-open this trail, but the work was not able to be completed before winter.
I do not want to take credit in any form for the following events, but I had had a fleeting thought, "I wondered if there was a young man who needed an Eagle Scout project, and would an undertaking such as this qualify for the criteria accepted as an Eagle Scout project?" So I suggested it to Jaydon Mead, and Josh Winkler from the BLM. They thought that it would qualify. So the next step was to find a young man willing to take this on. It didn't take much effort at all to find this young man.
As I watched the events unfold, I thought a number of times, "This is the right young man for this particular undertaking". It was rewarding for me to watch him think, plan, and carry out all the necessary steps involved in making this happen. I can't say enough good about the support that was given to him from his family, friends, local government agencies, and our local ATV club (Castle Country 014V Association), his Bishop, other Bishops from other wards, and his Scout leader.
His name is Joshua Barlow, and he is from Wellington. He attended several meetings, both for planning the project, and presenting it to some different groups. He approached different entities for donations, he made a great effort to let people know that he was doing this project, and tried different means to solicit help for it. It was a success because of his efforts, and the efforts of his family in supporting him.
One item that is worth mentioning in this is, two government agencies worked together on this project. That is not a common thing at all. Usually it takes a fire for two agencies to come together. So my compliments to Makeda Hansen from DNR, (the Department of Natural Resources), and Jaydon Mead and Josh Winkler from the BLM, (Bureau of Land Management). It's been a pleasure to work with these three people, and to learn about policies from them.
From the time of arrival on Friday, April 20, at 8:00 a.m. to get things ready to go, until we got back to our trucks, and loaded up to go home at 9:00 p.m. that evening, (I mention these times because there was culverts to haul, and ATV's and ATV trailers to gather up), Josh had planned for people to come at noon and he wanted to have things in order and ready to go for them when they came. Again on Saturday, April 21, we met at 8 a.m. and we quit and was ready to go home at 8 p.m. that evening, so we chalked up 25 hours of service work time. But then again you have to multiply that by the number of people who showed up to help. There were over 12 on Friday, and 39 on Saturday. What wonderful support! And although the project is still not complete, as there are still a couple of more culverts to install, and a fence to build, you can travel much more safely on this trail to the upper waterfall, and can make it to the cabin at the end of the trail.
I just wanted to say thank you to BLM and DNR for allowing us to keep this trail, as to my understanding, it is the ONLY legally designated ATV trail in our county. I wanted to say thank you to the Barlow family for their efforts.
I'm not sure they completely understand the magnitude of community service they have rendered to our area. I wanted to say thank you to all the people who showed up to help. It was hard work, but the company of good people made the two days so enjoyable. I wanted to say thank you to the members of Castle Country OHV Association for coming and supporting this young man, as we use this trail both on personal time, and for an annual club ride/dinner at the lower waterfall once a year. We even went so far as to bringing in the Northern Utah ATVers last fall and took them to the lower falls as part of a ride we sponsored. We probably would have taken them to the cabin, but the trail was in such disrepair, we didn't want to chance someone getting hurt. But I certainly wouldn't hesitate taking them in now.
I might mention one more thing. The Barlow family do not have ATVs, but they ride when someone will lend them machines, so for them to take on this project says a lot.
PR rep- Castle Country