More in Featured
Eagle project completed in Mexico Rec Park
During his Eagle Scout project, Richard Masterson (top right) is pictured working on the floor in the highest tower of the playground with Legion Post 24 Commander Kirk Thurston as other volunteers, including a couple of Troop 580 scouts, look on during Saturday's work in the Mexico Recreation Park. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
MEXICO -- With the help of donations, his fellow scouts and volunteers, Troop 580 Boy Scout Richard Masterson put together a small playground for youngsters during the day Saturday in the Mexico Recreation Park.
"I've got a good team here," noted Masterson, who recently completed his junior year at Mountain Valley High School.
For this all-day project. Masterson not only worked on the project, but also guided and delegated the work, which began early in the morning and went on well into the afternoon.
Working with Masterson included fellow scouts Jacob True and Jesse Pelletier, and Nesbit, Richie Philbrick, Kirk Thurston, Mark Steele, Mike True, Luke Hyde and Richard's dad.
The day before this event, Richard went with his father to Home Depot to purchase the playground kit, which includes a fun slide, a ladder, a rock climbing wall, a gang ramp and two towers. If possible, it will also have a new expanded sand box.
The cost of the kit was $956, but when he told them this was for his Eagle Scout project, they knocked off 10 percent. With other costs included, the total came to around the $900 that Masterson had raised for the project.
Richard's scout master, Jennie Nisbet, noted this was a time sensitive project that needed to be completed before July 3 because he will be turning 18. All Eagle Scouts need to complete all requirements before their 18th birthday. Richard also had to finish four more required merit badges before his birthday, so he's been very busy.
Richard was not only in a race to complete this project by his birthday, which is today, but also needed to garner a badge for either hiking, swimming or biking before his birthday to attain Eagle status.
Nesbit said Masterson was hoping to do the hiking portion, but the weather was often too hot or it would rain, or he was not able to get an adult to go with him. It was starting to look like he would not be able to get this required badge.
She said the scout was getting discouraged and even admitted at one point that he was thinking about giving up his dream of becoming an Eagle Scout.
Then Nesbit suggested he attempt the swimming portion, knowing that Masterson was terrified at being in the water. After taking a day to think about it, he went for it and passed the swim task for the badge.
"He had to go out of his comfort zone. I'm so proud of him for doing this," she noted.
Thurston, commander of American Legion Post 24, said the Legion donated $350, with the Sons of American Legion and the Legion Auxiliary each donating $100.
He noted that the Legion's donations for Masterson's project were well deserved. He said that since Post 24 became the Legion charter for Troop 580, Masterson has participated with the scouts in events they assisted the Legion with, such as the flag burning ceremony.
"I've seen him progress (through the years). He's a good kid," he noted.
Nisbet said that when the project is completed, it will need to be inspected before children can use it. In addition, a combination of sand and wood chips will be placed on the ground beneath the playground.
In his letter to businesses asking for donations, Richard noted, "To me, Boy Scouting is more then a program, it is a hands on class that teaches you leadership and how to be a loyal citizen. I have been in it for over five years and love every bit of it, which is why I am working to reach the the highest rank possible in Boy Scouting, Eagle. Many Boy Scouts in Maine have reached this loyal rank, and I wish to get this, too, but I need your help to make it possible."