Cathy Dyson writes about King George County.
Scouts get to work on the Dahlgren trail
Inductees into the Boy Scouts’ Order of the Arrow put their mission of service to others to the test last weekend when 42 boys from the Aquia chapter, along with 15 adults, converged on the Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail.
The Scouts performed a variety of community service projects to improve the trail’s condition.
Boys and leaders camped out for two nights at the trail campground so they could get an early start each day. They worked from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., breaking only for food and water.
Their projects ranged in scope from trimming trees to repairing a culvert. The boys also installed 13 poles to hold cross-buck trail signs at all highway crossings, created a multipurpose area and spread 63 tons of crushed stone, gravel and recycled concrete provided by the Friends of the DRHT.
The induction process included the service project and required the Scouts to sleep outside alone, with nothing but a ground cloth or tarp. But the weather was perfect for camping, Scout officials said, with brilliant stars and views of the scenic moonrise.
Friends of the DRHT have been built and maintained the trail for five years with private funds and labor. They don’t get any money from county or state funds.
The DRHT is truly “The People’s Trail,” said Dave Jones, president of the trail group. He encourages more Scouts and young peoples’ groups to enjoy the pleasure that comes from completing projects, like the work on the trail.
“The DRHT presents many opportunities for Scouting and youth oriented activities and merit badge work, including surveying, engineering, earth science, back packing, bird study, camping, cinematography, cycling, drafting, fire safety, forestry, geology, geocaching, hiking, insect study, mammal study, photography, plant science, rail roading and historic preservation, reptile and amphibian study, radio, soil and water conservation, wilderness survival, wood carving, woodwork, even business,” Jones wrote in an email.