The nature trail has been cut, the last bench has been constructed and the finishing touches have been placed on the outdoor classroom at Lewiston Elementary School.
"I tried to think of what I could do for my Eagle Scout project," said Jon Kilpatrick. "I thought a nature trail and outdoor classroom at Lewiston was most likely the best and coolest thing I could do for the community."
The completion of the project earlier this month was the culmination of more than 200 man-hours, according to Jon, the 17-year-old son of Mike Kilpatrick of North Carolina and Joe and Julie Kappas of Evans.
"It took a couple of months to plan," said Jon, a senior at Augusta Christian Schools. "I had to determine what kind of materials to use and I had to coordinate volunteers. Of course, the Scouts prepared me for a lot of that stuff."
The Eagle Scout project, according to Ken Hale, Jon's Scoutmaster, is aimed at serving the community, while giving Scouts total responsibility.
"I think Jon had an excellent project; it served the community well," said Hale. "There are a very low number of boys who go through scouting and make it to Eagle Scout. It's tough; it really is."
For Jon, the opportunity to give back to his community is what made the project so worthwhile.
Jon Kilpatrick is a student at Augusta Christian Schools who is working on his Eagle Scout badge.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"Scouting teaches you a lot of responsibility and leadership qualities," he said. "It helps you to be a more successful person."
The nature trail and outdoor classroom were funded by the Tudor Branch Wilderness Trust. The fund is established as part of the Tudor Branch Subdivision, a Blanchard and Calhoun community located off of Columbia Road. As a Partner in Education, the Tudor Branch Wilderness Trust has agreed to support Lewiston Elementary School, located just around the corner from the neighborhood, according to Anne Catherine Murray, manager of builder and developer services for Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate Co.
Brett Cooper, a teacher at Lewiston Elementary School, worked with Jon and Tudor Branch Wilderness Trust to facilitate the project.
"By creating a nature trail, Jon has enabled us to do hands-on activities outside the classroom in a meaningful environment," said Cooper. "The students will be able to learn about nature and see that science is all around them. Students in the primary grades can observe bugs, plants, leaves, as well as cause and effects, patterns and changes in the environment."
According to Cooper, the nature trail will be used by teachers "to meet their desires and objectives."
Jon, who is active in the Beta Club and Student Council at Augusta Christian, is glad the project has come to fruition after months of planning and is pleased with the end result.
"I think it turned out really well," said Jon, an active member of the West Acres Baptist Church youth group.
Now, Jon, a member of the Augusta Christian Schools' track team and team captain for cross country, is preparing for college, where he hopes the skills he learned in scouting will come in handy.
"I'm still undecided what I'll major in," said the senior class treasurer and lead cotillion. "I've given it a lot of thought, though."
Cooper is certain of one thing: this young man will go far.
"He showed tremendous maturity and leadership for a high school student," said Cooper. "He shows great potential and will be an effective leader and member of the business community in the future."
Make Kids Count is a yearlong project dedicated to highlighting the achievements of children in our area. To suggest a pupil for a Make Kids Count profile, send an inquiry to email@example.com.
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