by Allison Vincent, CREW Trust Communications Director
What does it take to complete an Eagle Scout project with the CREW Trust? That was the first question posed by 17-year-old Eagle Scout candidate, Jake, when he reached out to the CREW Trust back in July of 2020.
Over the years, the CREW Trust has partnered with quite a few successful Eagle Scout projects, which aim to benefit the community enjoying the CREW trails.
Important to the planning phase and really the first hurdle to a partnership project involves the scout’s willingness to remain open to the needs of the organization. Initial proposals aren’t always a good fit and a good scout’s job, like any good partner, is to listen to the needs of an organization which they aim to help. Luckily, Jake was flexible and ready for the challenge and something the CREW trails needed desperately were benches at the newest trail system, CREW Flint Pen Strand.
For this to be an appropriate Eagle Scout challenge, “the project needed to be attainable, but not easy” reflected Brenda Brooks, CREW Trust Executive Director, and ten benches covering five-miles of trails is no walk in the park. Brooks and CREW Trust volunteers personally worked with Jake and his Eagle coach to scout the trails for the best bench locations. Parameters were set based on distance, view and the undefinable need for a bench.
Next came the design. Many zoom calls, phone conversations and emails led to the development of a great team-oriented action plan, with Jake at the helm. A major component of all Eagle Scout projects is the opportunity for the applicant to organize, lead and manage a project from start to completion. Imagine fundraising during this difficult time, we know how hard it is as a non-profit, yet Jake was able to creatively think outside the box to raise the funds needed. Jake demonstrated great leadership through a challenging pandemic pulling his team of fellow scouts and leaders together to see the project through.
Jake’s team created the ten sturdy benches you can now enjoy on the Red, Yellow, and Orange trails at CREW Flint Pen Strand in Bonita Springs. “I hope the benches serve CREW well and help people enjoy the beauty of Flint Pen Strand” -Jake, Boy Scouts of America. Thank you Jake, from the CREW Trust, for your legacy project!