Scout leads Olympus trail improvements

July 1, 2010

By Tim Pfarr

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Eagle Scout candidate Bobby Szender, 16, from Troop 499, led a work party June 19 to improve the Olympus Trail northwest of the Newcastle Historical Cemetery.

The group worked on a sloped portion of the trail that was overrun with water when it rained.

The group converted the previous trail into a channel for water runoff that runs parallel to a new 4-foot-wide trail. Also, the group rerouted a particularly steep portion of the trail and created a switchback.

In all, the group made about 300 feet of new trail that day, but ran out of dirt with which to cover the trail, halting the project just short of completion. Szender said he and volunteers will bring in gravel and dirt this summer to finish the project.

“It went very well,” he said. “We had a nice turnout from the troop.”

About 20 people were on hand to help, including Szender’s father, Mark, Troop 499 Scoutmaster Bill Burris and more than a dozen scouts from the troop.

“My shoulders felt it the next day,” Mark Szender said with a laugh.

The group used about 130 concrete blocks to separate the water channel from the new trail.

Burris said the project, which required a lot of hard work, turned out well, and those who passed by on the trail seemed to agree.

“We had a couple of people walk through the construction zone and say, ‘Hey, that’s pretty nice,’” Burris said.

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