Friday, January 29, 2021

Eagle Scout builds information kiosk at Tassel Top to benefit park and trail users

By Lorraine Glowczak

Jonah Martin stands beside the informational
kiosk he built for the Raymond Parks and 
Recreation Department as his Eagle Scout
Service Project. The kiosk, located at Tassel
Top Park off Route 302 just after the gated
entrance there, will provide trail information
and post town news and events.
It has been said that Eagle Scouts will say the most rewarding requirement of becoming an Eagle - the highest achievement attainable in BSA (Boy Scouts of America) – is their service project. Although considered the most rewarding part of the BSA experience, very few members work toward the honorable rank. Jonah Martin of Raymond’s Troop 800 is among the special few, choosing to serve the Town of Raymond to fulfill his Scout Project requirements.

“Only about 8 percent of Scouts in the U.S. received their badge and became an Eagle Scout in 2019,” said Martin, who is a member of the 2021 graduating class at Windham High School.

Not only did Martin want to reach the Eagle rank because he was inspired to do so, but he lightheartedly admitted there was a little competition involved.

“Both of my brothers received the rank of Eagle, so I had to show them that I could do it too,” Martin said.

Although Martin speaks with jest about his service project, the process of obtaining an Eagle rank is an arduous one. Not only must an Eagle demonstrate proficiency in many different areas to include a leadership role within the local troop, but the Scout must also work on the project while continuing with schoolwork and other school-related activities.

The decision to reach out to the Town of Raymond was an easy one for Martin, first approaching the Public Works Department. “I wanted to do a project that would benefit Raymond because my experience living in this town has been a very positive one for me,” Martin said.

The public works department directed Martin to the Raymond Parks and Recreation Department’s (RPR) Director, Joseph Crocker. Since the RPR is newly created, becoming an official department of the town early last year in February 2020, officials at public works thought that recreation could benefit more from Martin’s Eagle Service proposal.

“There are a few small projects we have been considering, so I was very happy that Jonah reached out to the town,” Crocker said. “Public use of the trails through the wooded areas at Tassel Top have been extensive and we wanted to improve the user’s experience. After Jonah and I discussed some possibilities, we agreed an informational kiosk that could provide trail information and post town news and events would be beneficial for both Raymond and people who use the trails.”

Once the decision was made, then Martin quickly got to work which included raising funds needed for the building materials. “Jonah did a remarkable job with his fundraising efforts,” Crocker said. “We certainly worked together to bring the vision of a kiosk to life, but other than that – he did all the fundraising and physical work. He successfully made the kiosk happen and we are very happy with the outcome.”

Crocker and Martin wish to thank the Raymond Public Works Department for expanding the parking area near the kiosk, which is located off Route 302 and immediately after the gated entrance to the park.

Not only did Martin create a project that will be enjoyed by those who live in the area at the present time but will be appreciated for many generations to come.

“I had a running joke with Jonah,” Crocker said. “I told him that one day he will leave to explore the world and eventually meet that special someone. He will get married, have children and come back to Raymond to live, visiting Tassel Top from time to time, proudly and constantly reminding his children every time they visit, ‘Yep - I built that kiosk when I was a young.’”

After graduation this June, Martin will join the U.S. Coast Guard, and attend basic training this summer. He also plans to obtain his Emergency Medical Technician certification and be trained to work in the health services division of the Coast Guard.<

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