Here at Charlotte’s Quest Nature Center community volunteers are the heart of our operation. Our gardens, trails, field trips, programs and all facilities are lead and maintained by dedicated volunteers.
Over many years, several Scouts have implemented unique and valuable Eagle Scout projects in our park. We work with the Scouts to match their interests, ideas and skills to potential projects. We aim to provide the Scouts the opportunity to complete a project they are proud of, and from which our community can benefit.
It only takes a short walk around the park to find examples of Eagle Scout projects there. Eagle Scouts have mapped, designed and marked trails, poured concrete walkways, and built picnic tables and benches. Our taxidermy display was assembled by an Eagle Scout! Last year local Girl Scout Carissa Poore chose to revamp our garden to be more accommodating to pollinators to achieve her silver award. Most recently, the entrance fence was completely rebuilt as two separate Eagle Scout Projects! Upon visiting the park, you will be welcomed by a fresh, bright and beautiful entrance. Joey Sviatko from Troop 9 installed the first stretch of fence and installed the new sign in February 2019. The other side of the entrance was most recently completed by Max Debenham from Troop 320 in May 2019. The complimentary projects turned out even more beautifully than we had hoped and now our park entrance is more welcoming than ever!
To check out the many other projects that have been created by Eagle Scouts at Charlotte’s Quest, click the link below for a full document created by Ellen Rugemer a former Board Member at CQ and Scout parent.
We asked Joe and Max about their volunteer work at Charlotte’s Quest and how it has impacted them. Here is what they had to say:
CQ:Give us some highlights of your time as a Scout.
Joe: Philmont Scout Ranch Cimarron, NM July 2019. West Point Camporee May 2015. Annual Father-Son Campout to Gettysburg. Earning Eagle Scout.
Max: Some of my favorite moments in scouting is my first camping trip and first summer camp experience.
CQ: Why did you choose to do your project at our park?
Joe: I chose CQ as my Eagle Scout project site because I spent a lot of time as a Cub Scout as a member of Pack 665 and we spent a lot of time at Charlotte’s Quest. I wanted to give back to a local place where I was familiar.
Max: I love Charlotte’s Quest. They allow the scouts and cub scouts to use the park for scouting and I wanted to give back.
CQ: What part of your project challenged you the most?
Joe: The planning portion of the entrance beautification project was the most difficult. I had to plan and rework designs several times to get it right.
Max: The part that challenged me the most was not being able to do everything all the time.
CQ: What did you learn from leading a group of volunteers to complete your project?
Joe: Leading a group of volunteers wasn’t as hard as I thought. Everyone really wanted to help me and showed up strong both work days. The biggest challenge was learning how to do some of the tasks so I could lead by example. I was fortunate in that all my helpers were willing to show me the ropes; I learned how to run a plumb line and set posts and install fencing.
Max: I learned from leading other volunteers that leading isn’t just about telling people to do things, but to help with the work and show them how to do things.
CQ: How did the community support your project?
Joe: The Troop 9 community supported my project with donations. They also bought my tee shirt and hoodies fundraiser. Lowe’s gave me a large discount on supplies and Sunbelt Rentals donated an auger. These businesses really came through for me.
Max: The community helped with the project by first giving me the project then giving me advice on how to make that idea better.
CQ: How do you feel your work will benefit the community and the park?
Joe: It was gratifying to see all the hard work pay off with such a nice fence and sign. I’m glad people will see this improvement when they visit CQ. Hopefully other scouts will see the project and be inspired to maybe complete their own Eagle Project at CQ.
Max: I think the work I did will greatly affect the community [and the park] because it looks newer, and now the gate is open most of the time and people won’t be discouraged to enter the park.
Charlotte’s Quest owes a great many thanks to the local Scouts of the community! Their leadership and dedication to our park gives us an educational and welcoming connection to the outdoors despite our busy schedules. We hope to carry forward our close relationships with local Scouts and follow the younger scouts as they grow and experience our park as a favorite place, surrounded by examples of dedication and generosity by their trailblazing elders. The good news is, we continue to have great opportunities for Eagle Scouts or Girl Scout Silver projects as our wish list of fun and purposeful projects never ends!
We hope that our community treasures the time and skills that these scouts have brought us as much as we do! You are encouraged to visit our park and explore for yourself.