Scouts and Families Key to Success

  • Fire Circle Team (L to R) Doug, Tessie, and Jane Primack; Emily and Stephanie Seburn; Taylor,Reed, and Carol Irvin

    Fire Circle Team (L to R) Doug, Tessie, and Jane Primack; Emily and Stephanie Seburn; Taylor,Reed, and Carol Irvin

Updated 11/28/2016 7:16 AM

How do you know when a Boy Scout is approaching his 18th birthday? Answer: He is searching for an Eagle Scout project (which must be completed before he turns 18). Similar deadlines apply for various Girl Scout awards. These Scout awards require significant effort on the part of the scouts. Often the entire family and troop is involved, along with expert consultants.

Most of the scout projects done for the Reed-Turner Nature Preserve involve construction. This creates added challenges for the scouts. First, for safety reasons they are prohibited by the Scout organization from using most power equipment, and second, most of them have limited expertise in construction. These are all great learning experiences for the scouts as they research, design, obtain materials, recruit team members, and build.


Three recent significant improvements at Reed-Turner Nature Center illustrate the family and troop support nature of these scout projects.

Andrew Hammon refurbished and stabilized a bird observation blind on the lake shore. The building had blown over in high winds. Andrew, with hands-on support from his father Richard and fellow troop members, anchored the bird blind to the ground with stabilizing posts, replaced the deteriorating flooring, and strengthened its structure. The project required a lot of muscle power, as well as engineering insight and advice. Expert construction advice was provided by Rori Christiansen, a Reed-Turner neighbor and volunteer.

Anthony Sorgani and team constructed a "missing link" in our boardwalk which carries visitors across a flood-prone meadow. An older boardwalk and a newer bridge over a stream were not connected so visitors had to walk through what was often mud during rainy seasons. Anthony, his dad Tom, and team (with expert construction help from contractor Brad Williams) built a sturdy and very nicely designed connection between these two existing structures, providing a dry and secure walkway for visitors during any season.

Girl Scout Troop 41041, under the leadership of Jane Primack, embarked on a troop-level project that reflected their many trips to Reed-Turner Nature Center over the years. The girls recalled many campfires around the fire circle at the Nature Center. The fire circle, however, was showing the wear and tear of decades of use. The troop, with help from the dads and moms, designed and built new benches and then turned to the actual fire circle. They removed the old weathered and broken bricks, expanded the width of the circle, and laid new firebrick and perimeter brick. They then installed new gravel in the entire area.

The scouts, dads, moms, and expert consultants all played key roles in completing these projects and successfully achieving their scouting awards. Reed-Turner is owned by the Long Grove Park District and President Jane Wittig commented "Each project requires our time to help plan and support the project, but the outcome is well worth it. Each of these projects benefits the thousands of annual visitors to Reed-Turner. It is inspiring to see the teamwork and active support these scouts get from family, friends, and expert consultants- all of whom volunteer time and all helping the scouts mature into successful and caring citizens of the future."

The Long Grove Park District is a non-taxing organization that relies heavily on volunteer labor and donations. Your support is always needed and appreciated.