by Bernie Welch
Member of the Vassalboro Grange
Photo by Ron Emery, Troop #479
There is something wonderful about being amongst volunteers. What better way than to be part of an Eagle Scout project that promotes community, conversation and education. The Vassalboro Historical Society and the Vassalboro Grange partnered with the Maine Rivers to create an opportunity for the talented troop #479, of China, and specifically Eagle Scout candidate, Ben LeGasse, with the thought of sharing a bit of Vassalboro Lore from the Historical Society and the Grange, plus providing a place to share the plan for an alewife introduction to China Lake. Ben and his father organized a work day on Saturday, October 19. They pre-planned and created a bench and sign placard for the north side of the Grange and also planned and placed a picnic table and sign placard at the Outlet Stream to provide respite for the fishermen, bird watchers and soon to be alewife tourists that promise to be more plentiful once the Maine rivers project is complete.
An eagle Scouts project is one that fills a need. The Eagle Scout Service Project, or simply Eagle Project, is the opportunity for a Boy Scout in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) 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.The project must benefit an organization other than the BSA, and it cannot be performed for an individual or a business or be commercial in nature. Completing an Eagle Project is a requirement in order for Boy Scouts to attain the Eagle Scout rank. Ben chose to organize his project to support the greater Vassalboro community. On the work day he involved his fellow scouts and their fathers. All Scouts actively participated in clearing the area and placing sign posts , the bench, the brick picnic table pad and the picnic table.
Ben also solicited and received tremendous support from Hannafords in South China, Fieldstone Quick stop, Lowes Home supply and, of course, parents and friends. The fathers of the scouts were also out in force providing guidance, institutional memory and wisdom when using hand tools. A ground wasp nest did not deter but did enliven the effort on the day of the event. Grange members provided food and information about the grange. Ben will share his project with the Vassalboro Historical Society and the Maine Rivers during future meetings. His discussion and question answer session at the last Friday Grange meeting was informational and a bit of fun.
Scouting in our area is a hidden community gem. Young people inspire community members to think about the power of doing something for the benefit of others. Yes, there is something wonderful about being volunteers. And you know what , they can be us!
Ben, 17, is a senior at Erskine Academy, in South China, and the son of Keith and Kristie LaGasse, of Windsor.
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