Eagle Scout project will cover Hanover
Fourteen-year-old Keith Crockett-Harrington of Bethel is on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout after hosting a successful barbecue fundraiser on the grounds of the Hanover Town Office last week.
With the support of the Gardner Roberts Memorial Library, the Town of Hanover, and generous community donations, the dedicated Boy Scout from Bethel Troop 565 is about to kick off a project toward earning his Eagle Scout status.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America program. It requires earning 21 merit badges and demonstrating Scout Spirit by planning, organizing, and managing a major service project. Keith is just a couple of merit badges and a project away from attaining Eagle status. Hanover will enjoy the fruits of his labor – a public covered picnic shelter in the center of town.
Nearly 100 people from Hanover and the surrounding towns attended the barbecue fundraiser Sept. 8 under a large tent erected between the library and the Town Office on Ferry Road, off Route 2. Breezes blew and the fall-like air was quite brisk, but that did not stop the crowd from having a wonderful evening. Through monetary donations from those who attended, combined with proceeds from a raffle that evening, Keith exceeded his goal of raising $1,000 toward the project.
The 16’ by 24’ picnic shelter will be situated between the Town Office and the library, and will be used for town gatherings and other year-round public events.
How did Keith happen to choose Hanover for his project?
“My mom, Kelly Harrington, works at the Town Hall in Hanover and my brother, Kory, and, sister, Victoria, and I spend a lot of time swimming at Howard Pond. I also mow lawns for the town. And we are all good friends with ‘Miss Peggy’.” Peg Susbury of Rumford and Hanover is the librarian at the Gardner Roberts Memorial Library.
“I knew Miss Peggy’s temporary plastic tent by the library was not working so swift. Sometimes the wind takes it down and the snow destroys it,” Keith said.
The tent is used for library events and other town functions, so Keith wanted to build a sturdy, permanent picnic shelter for the town to enjoy. On completion of the project, Keith will be able to go to the table to become an Eagle Scout.
He has been in Scouts since he was 5 years old. He achieved the highest honor of Arrow of Light as a Cub Scout. His mother was his den leader for many years. His current Scout Master, Dean Richmond of Mason Township, and Assistant Scout Master, Dr. Tom DeLuca of Hanover, are guiding and supporting him through the project.
Keith described the project’s inception.
“The first person to step forward was Steve Pelletier of Hanover,” he said.
A builder himself, Pelletier helped get the project off the ground. He met with Keith to hear his ideas and drew up the plans for the structure. He gathered estimates for the cost of supplies, which will run about $3,000 of which a portion has been donated by Western Maine Supply of Bethel.
Matt Dyer of Newry, and a Colony Development builder, volunteered to oversee the project. The building permit has been obtained and a contribution of $1,500 from the Town of Hanover, combined with a matching $1,500 donation from the Gardner Roberts Memorial Library, will pay for the remaining supplies.
More than $1,000 additionally were raised from the event to purchase crushed rock, additional miscellaneous supplies, and food to feed the work crew throughout the duration of the project.
“It will be an all-volunteer work crew,” said Keith. “We need about 15 to 20 people. The work will start as soon as possible and we plan to be finished by Columbus Day weekend, just in time for the library’s Annual Fall Festival. Next week we will begin marking out and driving in the posts. Scouts who are helping with the project include my brother, Kory Crockett-Harrington, Dylan Richmond of Mason Township, Dakota Albert of Bethel and Hanover and Austin Bear from Hanover. We are looking for more volunteers to help.”
“It has been amazing for me to watch Keith gain confidence and a leadership role in such a short time,” said Kelly. “He is learning to believe in himself and rightly so.”
Susbury, long time friend of the Harringtons, said she has watched Keith grow from a quiet boy to a confident young man. “This project has given Keith the opportunity to grow and expand his horizons. He started with an idea, developed a plan, and has the drive and vision with an end result. That’s quite a task for a 14-year old,” she said.
There were also many donations of goods and services, which contributed to the success of the fundraiser. The tent was donated by Neil Olson of Olson’s Tent Rental in East Bethel. Gordon Breidenbach of Newry, and chef at the Phoenix House and Well, and Ellie Andrews of Bethel were the “grillmasters."
Buster Chase of Bryant Pond sliced potatoes on the spot and served up handmade warm potato chips throughout the evening which were quite popular with the crowd. The food was donated by Les Otten of Greenwood, and North Center Foods, of Augusta. Keith and his brother, Kory, and sister, Victoria made a delicious home made coleslaw, and their grandmother, Suzy Harrington, made pork, maple syrup, baked beans and rolls.
Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the building of the picnic shelter may contact Keith at 207-824-4347. Donations are still being accepted for the project. Checks can be made payable to the “Gardner Roberts Memorial Library”, Attention: Keith’s Project, and may be dropped off in person at the library or Town Office, or mailed to the library at P.O. Box 64, Hanover, ME 04237.