by Frank DeLoache

DAVIDSON – Thanks to the planning of four senior Boy Scouts and the support of fellow Scouts and friends, Davidson pets can find shelter from the sun and winter wind, schools can hold outdoor classes near the greenway, more people can camp at Fisher Farm Park and players and spectators can expect more shade at the ball fields near Davidson Elementary School.

Scouts Camden Griggs, Ryan Layman, Robert Poole and Tyler Hockett took on significant projects for the town as one of their final steps to achieving the Eagle Scout Award, Boy Scouting’s highest honor. The scouts also drew high praise from town board members at their Aug. 9 meeting.

Assistant Town Manager Dawn Blobaum observed that the scouts, who raised all the equipment, materials and labor for the project, had made significant contributions to the community, which the town would not otherwise be able to afford. All the Scouts attending the meeting said they worked closely with former Parks Director Steve Fraher, and Fraher’s successor, Kathryn Spatz, said she has of list of ongoing and future projects for future aspiring Eagles.

The projects included:

• A shelter at the O’Henry Dog Park in the New Neighborhood of Old Davidson.
Griggs’ wood shelter is roofed and open on two sides, to enable park visitors – human and canine – to avoid the sun and harsh winter winds. A rising senior at Woodlawn School, Griggs designed the shelter and secured the building permit, Blobaum said. He and his supporters also erected a bench swing next to the shelter.

• A 60-seat outdoor theater on South Street, behind the old pumping station, and a short walk from Davidson’s greenway. Layman, a rising senior at Davidson Day School, said town work crews cleared the site, and 25 boys and men worked on three consecutive weekends to install 12 benches in a semicircle facing a raised platform. Layman also thanked many local businesses for donating materials or cash for his project.

Commissioner Connie Wessner, an administrator at Community School of Davidson, told Layman that students from her school already are using the outdoor amphitheater.

• A natural picnic-camping area at Fisher Farm Park. Poole, a freshman at Central Piedmont Community College who is transferring to Appalachian State University, said he and supporters cleared the wooded area near some existing campsites and built the picnic table and camping site.

• Shade trees at McEver Ball Field, near Davidson Elementary School. Hockett, a sophomore at High Point University, explained that adding the trees became enough work for two Eagle Scout projects. Fellow Scout Alan Chisholm began the project two or three years ago, but after talking to Fraher, Hockett agreed to expand the scope of the work. Hockett ended up a little short on the hours required for an Eagle project, so he and his supporters repaired and cleaned the restrooms at the baseball field.