Milford Scout earns Eagle ranking

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  • After several hours of work, the result of the labor was a wide mulch pathway framed by carefully placed rocks. D&S Hauling of Dingmans Ferry supplied all of the mulch.

  • The wooded area has a few park benches and a fire pit.

  • Eleven-year-old Cub Scout Cameron Maino helps Eagle Scout Jason Block stabilize a discovery box.

By George Leroy Hunter

On a recent warm Saturday morning, July 8, a work crew gathered near a wooded patch of land. A supply of tools such as wheelbarrows, saws, rakes, hammers and nails filled the area. The workers were attired in t-shirts, jeans and work boots and sneakers. Some wore hats to fend off the heat. A young man stood in front of the group and explained what was to be done.

Those gathered together were not a bunch of weathered construction workers. Rather, they were a group of men, women and children volunteering to participate in a special project.

The young man giving orders was Boy Scout Jason Block, 17, of Troop 76, which is based in Shohola. Block, a Milford resident, was about to begin work on his Eagle Scout service project.

With the help of fellow scouts, family members and friends, Block began working on a trail in a patch of woods.

In the Boy Scouts of America, the designation of Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or rank attainable. The award is a performance-based achievement. Only a small percentage of Boy Scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout. It is an opportunity for a Boy Scout to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of his community.

The patch of woods where the project took place is on the property of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Dingmans Ferry. The Eagle Scout service project was started and completed on Saturday, July 8.

From 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Block and his helpers toiled in the summer heat, clearing overgrown vegetation and other debris to make way for a defined trail.

The result of the labor was a wide mulch pathway framed by carefully placed rocks. Some of the rocks were painted with words of inspiration. The trail meanders through an oasis of tall trees and shrubs.

Several newly built discovery boxes dotted the trail area. Wood for the discovery boxes was supplied by 84 Lumber in Hawley. The discovery boxes will contain different types of bark, seeds and animal pelts that will be masked. This allows the children to guess what is inside, inviting a fun, sensory, outdoor learning experience.

Local businesses provided material support and money for the Eagle Scout service project. Price Chopper of Matamoras donated funds, water and food. Dingmans Ferry eateries Good Time Pizza and Pie's On Italian American Restaurant donated pizzas. Shoprite of Montague, N.J., donated a sub sandwich.

D&S Hauling of Dingmans Ferry supplied the mulch for the Eagle Scout service project.

The soon-to-be Eagle Scout said, “I want to thank my family and friends and people of my church, everyone who volunteered and helped to complete my project. Thank you to all of the businesses that donated too.”

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church is where Block and his family attend religious services. Jason approached his pastor and asked if there was anything he would like done or tended to concerning the church that he couldn't afford in the budget. The pastor felt it would be beneficial if the trail running through a large section of trees near the sanctuary be redone for the children of the community who attend the church and its affiliated preschool program.

The land the church is situated on is mostly neatly mowed grass and manicured bushes. But a large stand of trees and associated greenery next to the parking lot is a contrasting area ideal for relaxing and providing shade for people and wildlife. The wooded area has a few park benches and fire pit and the addition of the refurbished trail will no doubt enhance a child's and adult's outdoor experience.

Block's journey to become an Eagle Scout began in grade school when he joined the Cub Scouts. He has an older brother who also was a Boy Scout. Jason is now a student at Delaware Valley High School in Milford.

In addition to his Boy Scout activities, he enjoys dancing and performing in the drama club at his school.

Block recently portrayed Prince Eric in “The Little Mermaid” production at Delaware Valley High School.

His other interests are in the sciences. After finishing high school, he plans to continue his studies in science in college. Jason expressed a desire to enter a field involving environmental science.

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