Madison's Boy Scouts: Making The Town Safer And More Fun

Several scouts have been recognized at recent Board of Selectmen meetings for completing or proposing projects that include a storage shed and pathway at the ABC House, a public picnic area at Constitution Park, and a trail system at the park.


Eagle Scout Sean Condrin, after leading the Board of Selectmen and a crowded meeting room at Madison Town Campus in the Pledge of Allegiance before the selectmen's meeting Monday night, gave a short presentation on his Eagle Scout project at the town's ABC House, where he built a utility shed and pathway designed to help alleviate icy conditions in the winter at the house.

Also at the meeting, Eagle Scout Candidate Andrew Murphy presented his plan to develop a trail system within the coastal forest at Constitution Park. And, at another recent Board of Selectmen meeting, Eagle Scout Candidate Timothy O'Shaughnessy presented his plan to build a picnic area at Constitution Park.

Condrin and Murphy are with Boy Scout Troop 494 in North Madison, which is associated with the North Madison firehouse. O'Shaughnessy is with Boy Scout Troop 491, which is associated with the American Legion, Griswold Post 79 in the south end of town.

Condrin's project was conceived after a series of mishaps and accidents at the ABC House, created by icy conditions. Condrin said the shed and pathway are designed to provide storage for salt in a way that will make it easy to use. Condrin raised $1,200 for his project and had $300 left over, which he donated to the ABC House.

O'Shaughnessy's project was developed with the guidance of Madison Town Engineer and Director of Public Works Michael Ott, he said at a recent Board of Selectmen meeting. After walking the park several times, they decided that a picnic area would be a good project. The picnic area will include six picnic tables, including one that is handicapped accessible, and three standing fire grills.

O'Shaughnessy said he will organize his fellow scouts to work with him on the project to assemble and construct the tables and grills. He also intends, as part of his project to plant three to four small trees or bushes, and to build a wooden sign. Work is scheduled to start this month, afater the initial site work is completed on the park and the picnic area is cleared. If all goes well, work should by finished by spring.

The total cost of that project should be about $3,600 and O'Shaugnessy has already raised $933 by holding a tag sale at the Deacon John Grave House. He also has applied to the Pardee Youth Fund, and to other town organizations for funding support.

Eagle Scout Candidate Andrew Murphy also plans to do a project at Constitution Park. He is planning to build a trail system in a coastal forest on the park, right along the marsh. He too is working with Ott on the project.

He said the trail will connect with lookout platforms planned by the town, that will allow people to look out over the marsh without disturbing it. The trail will be about five feet wide, so that several people can use it at once. No material will be used on the main part of the trail, work on the trail will consist mainly of clearing it of underbrush, trees and debris, and of making sure it is situated properly so that it stands up to use, he said.

"We will make it as easy to walk as possible," Murphy said during his presentation to the Board of Selectmen. First Selectman Fillmore McPherson asked whether the trail might be like trails made by the Madison Land Trust on their properties throughout town. "Exactly," Murphy said. He said the trail has been designed so that it will not encroach on wetlands.

The selectmen enthusiastically, and with thanks, approved both Eagle Scout Projects.

Following the meeting, Condrin said he was excited to see how Murphy's project would turn out, and said Murphy was the right man for the job. Condrin said both he and Murphy had attended Philmont Scout Ranch a Boy Scout camping and training center in New Mexico. He said scouts who attend Philmont not only spend a lot of time hiking, but also spend time learning how to construct trails.

"Obviously, he's well trained," Condrin said of Murphy.


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