SEBRING — On Saturday, March 3rd, Boy Scout Troup 846 held a special ceremony at Highlands Hammock State Park to dedicate two service projects — a foot bridge and an interactive insect display — completed by Jimmy Griffin and Julian Crozier to earn the top Boy Scout rank of Eagle Scout. Both Crozier and Griffin talked with Highlands Hammock about items the park needed, and they chose to build projects that would be enjoyed by park residents for years to come.
Crozier built an interactive insect display and Griffin built a foot bridge that connects the main entrance to the Exploration Station. As the community heard about their service to the park, rotary clubs, private business and individuals donated money, materials and labor towards the improvements. Their Boy Scout Troup 846 also assisted with the improvements to the park.
Crozier said, “I wanted to educate people about the insects found around the park. I also did this project to engage kids in the outdoors.”
Gary King, his Boy Scout leader and his grandfather, beamed as he announced the service project completed by his grandson. Brian Delaney, the new Scoutmaster who has been phasing in responsibilities since January, also participated in the service projects and the ceremony.
Sherry Griffin, Jimmy Griffin’s mother, also spoke at the ceremony thanking Morgan Tyrone, park manager, for his assistance. Griffin also stated,
“Gary King has assisted these boys in their journey and led them from Webelos [Cub Scouts preparing to be Boy Scouts] until now. Gary has been monumental in mentoring these boys.”
Jimmy Griffin said, “Troop 846 helped me build the bridge, and Carl Cool, an engineer, did the survey. It was his idea to add poles [in front of the entrance and exit to the foot bridge] to keep golf carts and 4-wheelers off the bridge. The project took a couple of months to complete, but we did most of the work over four or five weekends.”
Morgan Tyrone, park manager, expressed his appreciation for the projects. Tyrone stated, “Both projects have been wonderful for the park. We hope to put a nature center in this area.”
The insect display will serve as an integral part of the nature center, and the foot bridge will provide better access to the educational area.