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North Hardin junior Matthew Leto of Rineyville reconstructed 150 meters of a hiking path that leads to Camp Piomingo’s cabins.
According to Leto and his father, Tom, the Boy Scout, his troop leader, 10 teenagers and several parents worked eight hours Nov. 3 to clear the trail, spread gravel and lay wood. The project required 50 tons of dense-grade aggregate rock and 120 landscape timbers, Tom Leto said, all of which were donated by local businesses.
To make it handicap accessible, they had to make several turns in the path, Matthew Leto said.
“The grade can’t be so steep that they lose control,” he said.
Camp Director Joey Barnard said the pathway had become “highly eroded” with several exposed tree roots. These conditions made it a danger to abled and disabled campers, he said, especially at night.
Although it is not the only access to the cabins, he said prior to the redone path, handicapped campers were forced to go out of the way to another roadway if they wanted to stay overnight. According to Barnard, there were occasions when disabled campers chose to spend the night elsewhere because of the difficult access to the cabins.
“This new trail that he worked so hard on has greatly improved our accessibility,” Barnard said.
Leto’s troop leader, Don Monroe, said Troop 152 of Rineyville was established in 1989 and since then has seen only 16 teens make the transition into Eagle Scouts, the highest honor in Scouting.
Monroe, who has been a troop leader since 1998, estimates only four out of 100 Boy Scouts move on to Eagle Scouts.
In order to make that jump, a scout has to meet several requirements, including completion of a service project, he said.
“It’s a leadership thing,” Monroe said. “It’s not just the project that’s important.”
He added, “He’s got to come up with the plan. He’s got to develop the plan. He’s got to identify all the resources he needs.”
According to Matthew Leto, his chosen project required about a month to two months from planning to completing the hiking path.
The project required asking for donations, researching and writing a report to secure approval, Tom Leto said.
For example, he said Matthew discovered in his research the path required aggregate rock because the combination of smaller and larger stones packs down, making it as hard as concrete and easier for campers in wheelchairs or on crutches to travel.
Matthew Leto must complete paperwork and a board review before transitioning into Eagle Scouts, but he said he expects to reach that status in December.
Asked why he chose to redo the hiking path, Leto said he frequently visits Otter Creek State Park to go camping and wanted to complete a project that would have an impact.
“I wanted to do something more meaningful,” he said.
Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.