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Eagle scout's patio project enhances park

Eagle Scout Brandon Toth constructed a paver patio in Clintonwood Park. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
May 12, 2010 - Brandon Toth of Clarkston learned the value of preplanning in his Eagle Scout project.

"Get all materials on site, all the people scheduled, all tools ready," said Toth, who constructed a paving-stone patio at Clintonwood Park this past summer. It took one day to build because of all the planning."

The senior at Clarkston High School built the patio next to Independence Township Adult Activities Center, next to benches built by another Eagle Scout.

"This is wonderful – they're such good projects," said Carolyn Morrison, volunteer at the center. "With budget cuts over the past couple years, Eagle Scouts have been able to enhance the center for use by seniors."

Local teens also built raised garden platforms, Morrison said.

"The patio brings it all together," she said.

The scout, with Troop 199 of St. Daniels, lives in Clarkston with his parents, Chris and Shari Toth, and his brother, Nick.

"He's learned a lot – other people are out there who need help," Shari said. "Helping others helps you become a better person. He learned to cook too."

The two-year, $1,500 project included a spaghetti fund raiser, in which Brandon prepared the food.

Boy Scouting also taught him how to pitch a tent, start a fire, shoot, sail, dive, and other outdoor skills.

"I'd like to come back someday as a leader," he said.

At Clarkston High, he plays on the varsity lacrosse team and is a member of the National Honor Society. He plans to attend Grand Valley State University in the fall to study pre-medicine.

"I've always wanted to be a doctor, to help people, make money – human anatomy is something I've always been interested in," he said.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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