Eagle Scout project of the year

WATERTOWN TWP.-The Hervida 4-H Camp in Watertown Township has a permanent 12-target archery range, complete with a picnic shelter, thanks to the efforts of 18-year-old Andrew Gaughan who developed the facilities as an Eagle Scout project.

“The range has been getting a lot of use. And archery is a great way for these young people to learn how to safely handle a bow and arrow, as well as to socialize and meet other youngsters,” said Rick Myers, 4-H shooting sports instructor.

Andrew, a member of Boy Scout Troop 216, said he enjoyed archery as a youngster with the Bullseye 4-H Club and wanted to do something that would help introduce others to the sport. So he decided to build the range and shelter for his Eagle Scout project.

“Before it was built every time they wanted to set up the archery range we had to take all of the targets out of a storage building, put them in a truck and haul them across the road, then unload and set up the targets,” he said. “When we were done the targets had to be loaded onto the truck again and taken back to the storage building.”

Andrew’s project would permanently locate the targets on the archery range as well as provide a shelter where his father, Gary Gaughan, and Myers could teach youngsters how to safely handle a bow and arrow before going onto the shooting range.

“And to be eligible for an Eagle Scout badge the project has to be something that will benefit the community,” Gary said.

In July 2012 Andrew and his dad started working on the project, assisted by about 10 fellow members of Troop 216. Their first task was to clear the lot where the archery range was to be built.

“There was a lot of digging to be done-brush and scrub trees had to be removed, and the ground had to be leveled out,” Andrew said.

He said the cut trees were given back to the 4-H camp to use for firewood during camp activities.

“We also had to remove an old water wellhead from the property,” Gary said. “There was a lot of time put into the project.”

Andrew said he and his dad worked a total of 425 hours on the project between July 2012 and April 2013.

The entire project cost around $3,100, Andrew said, with $2,500 of that money coming through a grant from the Mid-Ohio Valley Friends of the National Rifle Association.

Other monetary donations came from 4-H members and their families, including $400 for a building permit Andrew had to acquire in order to build the shelter.

The project also had to be documented in a fair-sized binder with a description of the project scope, listings of funding sources and material and equipment donations, and photos showing each step of the process.

On Thursday Andrew was presented the Eagle Scout project of the year award by his troop, and during a ceremony in the near future he’ll receive the coveted Eagle Scout badge.

“He’s been a scout since he was 9 years old,” Gary said. “But he stuck with it, and some of the things he’s learned during this project will probably be useful later in his life.”

A senior at Warren High School, Andrew plans to attend the University of Akron in the fall, majoring in political science and criminal justice.