Local Boy Scout paves way for community improvement
October 10, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (October 10, 2013) -- While most teenage boys are playing video games and watching TV, one Fort Rucker teen is literally paving the way to better his community.
Nathan Pool, of Boy Scout Troop 77, has taken on the enormous task of turning the plot of land behind The Landing into a nature trail that people can use for walking, hiking, biking and other activities.
Although Pool took on the task to fulfill his requirement for his Eagle Scout service project, he said he also looked at it as a way to give back to the community.
"I saw that this would be good to benefit the community and give people a way to get outside and enjoy the outdoors," he said. "I'd really like to see people out here utilizing it when it's done."
The main trail is about three-quarters of a mile long and branches off to subsequent trails throughout the land, said Pool.
The trail also loops around a food plot that animals use to feed that can provide some sightseeing for people interested in wildlife, added Nathan's father, CW4 Scott Pool, 1st Battalion, 212th Aviation Regiment.
"There are so many different types of trees, birds and wildlife out here for people to see," he said. "There are certain merit badges (in Boy Scouts) that have to do with the identification of different (plants and wildlife), and this will be a good place for people can come for that."
The process to get started took time and in order to get approval for the trail, Nathan and those involved had to write up a plan stating what the project was and how it will benefit the community.
So far, Nathan, his Family and groups of volunteers have cleared out the main trail with mowers and marked them with posts. Other trails and trees were trimmed by hand, and although much work has been done, Nathan said they still have a long way to go.
When the project was approved, they were able to start work, but it quickly became more than just a means for Pool to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, but a learning experience that he can take with him long after the scouts.
"As a Boy Scout, this teaches me a sense of responsibility," said Pool. "I can come out here and see that (the trail) is being used and know that it make some sort of impact on the community -- it makes me feel like I'm part of something."
Nathan got started in the Scouts in the first grade and has learned skills from first aid, and outdoor skills to life skills like personal and finance management. No matter what the lesson, it all comes back to responsibility, he said.
"The purpose for this project as an Eagle project is that you're project manager," said Scott. "Your job is to figure out what you want to do, to have the vision and to put the vision together.
"When you get into Boy Scouts, it's all led by the kids," he continued. "The adults are there to advise and keep them pointed in the right direction, but the boys are the ones that call the shots. There aren't too many organizations that you get that kind of opportunity."
Scott said this project is one of biggest projects he and his Family have been a part of when it comes to Eagle projects, and he's happy to see the progress of the land change throughout the years and be turned into something that the community can use once again.
"I graduated flight school 20 years ago (here at Fort Rucker) and I remember when this was a 3-par golf course," he said. "When you have something like this that's gone unused for so many years, its great to be able to reclaim it.
"I think the biggest thing for this to be successful is that people need to know that it's here and they need to use it," he continued. "It's not going to be perfect at first … but ideally, you want something that will make an impact and help others."