Scouts earn their eagle badges |

Scouts earn their eagle badges

Zach Fridell

Local Eagle Scouts, clockwise from top left, Cass Sisto, Ian Berry, Jordan Davidson, Dusty Reed and Vincent Abate sit in a memorial garden Abate created at Young Tracks preschool as part of his Eagle Scout project. All five scouts earned their eagle badges this year by completing an individual community service project.

— Five local Boy Scouts have earned their eagle badges after completing community service projects in Steamboat Springs ranging from a 16-foot-tall signboard to a park bench at a preschool.

Ian Berry, Jordan Davidson, Dusty Reed, Vincent Abate and Cass Sisto all earned their badges this year through Troop 194. Davidson also worked through Troop 125 and will receive his badge in July.

To complete his project, Berry built a kiosk and signboard for Storm Peak Laboratories on top of Mount Werner. He said he came upon the idea when he was walking near the peak and searching for a suitable project.

In order to ensure the sign could be seen in the winter, the sign stands 16 feet tall and 12 feet wide, with 4 feet of clearance for snow to fall underneath.

The all-cedar sign was more expensive than he expected, he said, but he was able to solicit donations from the lab to complete the $600 project.

Abate turned to landscaping to complete his project, a garden in the parking lot of Young Tracks preschool to honor Christine Leeann Bird-Gough, a former infant-room teacher who died in childbirth.

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Kim Martin, director of Young Tracks, said toddlers use the garden as a place to sit and enjoy nature.

“It just turned into an absolutely gorgeous project,” she said.

The park includes a stone memorial for Bird-Gough, a bench, flowers and trees.

“The actual building (of) the garden, that only took a day, but it took four months to get it organized,” he said, including planning the landscaping with the help of his neighbors, who own a landscaping business.

Reed created kits for community members to build birdhouses for bluebirds, then organized building events that brought people together to make the houses. They now are distributed throughout Steamboat, he said, in the hopes of creating a sustainable bluebird habitat.

One of the events was on Mother’s Day, when 40 of the 80 kits were built. The remainder of the kits were sent to Yampatika, which runs a day camp for children with disabilities.

“I knew the bluebird population needed help, and it was a way to get people more interested in Yampatika, too,” he said.

Davidson said he also wanted to help a local organization, so he created a one-man donation drive for Advocates Against Battering and Abuse, a group that runs a local women’s shelter.

He first stood outside grocery stores distributing flyers about the needs the women’s shelter faces, and ended up collecting 20 boxes of nonperishable items.

“It ended up getting a little more personal with me because I was talking with people and they were very excited to get the items,” he said.

For his project, Sisto created a database of the hundreds of local war veterans who are buried in the area. With help from local veterans who double-checked his results, he and other scouts entered all of the data into a spreadsheet that now is available online at on the “Histories and Genealogy” page.

Scout Master Brian Berry said the scouts came up with the ideas and completed the projects on their own, with limited guidance from adults.

“We give advice and help and a little motivation,” he said. “Part of the motivation for my (younger) scouts now is seeing these guys. That’s a big deal.”