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Eagle Scout's quest links Orion Library to Polly Ann Trail



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July 31, 2013 - Olivia Shumaker

Review Staff Writer

Thanks to a bit of hard work, the Orion Township Public Library is now accessible from the Polly Ann Trail.

On Saturday, June 29, Boy Scout Wes McBride and members of his troop finished a trail connecting the library to the Polly Ann Trail, as well as installing a sign making the location of the trail clearer. The completion of the trail is McBride's service project to achieve Eagle Scout, the highest rank a Boy Scout can reach.

"Leading people is a hard process and it does take a lot of work to get a project done," said Gerylann McBride, McBride's mom.

The road towards Eagle Scout is a long one. McBride is a seven-year member of Boy Scouts, a span that has included no less than five ranks before Eagle. A community service project like the trail is one of many Eagle requirements. Other necessities include holding a leadership position in the troop for six months, a large volume of paperwork, and 23 merit badges.

In Scouts, a merit badge is earned for learning a specific skill, such as physical fitness or how to manage money. At this point, McBride only has to present his project before a local Scouts board for final approval.

"It really shows all the hard work I've put into scouting," McBride said.

The project came to McBride by way of his troop, Troop 186, and his scoutmaster, Paul Leming.

Staff at the library put in a request with the troop to finish the trail, and McBride approached Leming about using the opportunity for his Eagle Scout project.

This commenced a few months of planning with assistance from Beth Sheridan, the library's head of adult services, and Mike Morris, the library's head of maintenance, as well as donations from Environmental Wood Solutions in Lake Orion.

"Planning really makes it easier when you go and actually do the project," McBride said. "The more time you spend beforehand, it makes it a lot easier when you get there."

The final execution of the project on June 29 took around seven hours to complete with 22 active volunteers, including members of McBride's troop. Workers raked, dug and spread six tons of asphalt millings donated by Environmental Wood Solutions, as well as installing a directional sign.

"I thought this was a perfect community service project towards becoming an Eagle Scout," McBride said. "This path is something all library patrons can enjoy."

McBride's ceremony to officially receive his Eagle Scout will take place this fall, once he has gone before the local board. He advises any Scouts pursuing or considering pursuing an Eagle to push through the ups and downs of the process, stating that the reward is greater than the time and effort put into the project.

"If you just push through it and keep persevering and going and continuing and getting through the hard parts, it feels really good at the end," McBride said.

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