Sometimes everything just comes together. The refurbished bicycles project started by Eagle Scout candidate and Police Explorer Cameron S. from the Boy Scouts of America Connecticut Rivers Council is an example of one of those times.
Cameron had been involved in Scouting since first grade, and, through Scouting, he met Scout leader William Rivet, whose enthusiasm for Scouting was matched only by his enthusiasm for mountainbiking. Cameron and some of the other Scouts in his troop also grew to love mountainbiking as Rivet’s infectious love for the sport caught on.
Unfortunately, Rivet passed away in 2012 as a result of cancer, and, to honor his memory, Cameron decided to have some type of bicycle theme for his Eagle Scout project. He didn’t know what exact project he would do, but he knew that bicycles would be at the center of it.
In addition to being a Boy Scout, Cameron is also a Police Explorer.
“I thought, ‘This is something I could learn about, and this is something I’m interested in doing,’” he said of Exploring.
In fact, it was his involvement as a Police Explorer that helped illuminate the path toward a bicycle-focused Eagle Scout project. Every time he would go to the local police station as part of his Exploring activities, he would notice the unclaimed, abandoned bicycles that had accumulated at the local police station over the years. Eventually, he began wondering if there might be a way to do something with them.
That’s when he hit upon the Eagle Scout project idea that would honor the memory of his bicycle-loving Scout leader and provide something great for kids in his community.
“I want to be someone who helps the community,” he said. “And I saw a way to do it with the bikes.”
He gathered several of the old bicycles from the police station and collected donations of several more. Then he and a team of volunteers began cleaning and repairing the bicycles and donated the completed bikes to Vernon Youth Services.
Then the Scouts held a safety instruction day where they handed out helmets and safety pamphlets to the recipients of the bicycles. They also taught a bicycle safety course to the new bike riders.
“The kids were very, very happy,” said Michelle Hill, director of Vernon Youth Services. “It was a feel-good event. It really made a difference for the children, because the community was here supporting them.”
“It was fantastic because it allowed kids in the community to learn about riding a bike and about Scouting,” said Mark Kalina, Cameron’s Scout leader.
Police Lieutenant William Meier, who worked with with Cameron in the Police Explorers, praised the young man.
“He’s doing what we would like to see all kids in the community doing — making good things happen,” Meier said.
If you’d like to learn more about Cameron’s Eagle Scout project and involvement in Exploring, be sure to check out the full article in the Journal Inquirer.
To learn more about the positive impact that Scouting can have on young people like Cameron, be sure to check out this article on the recent Tufts study, and watch this video: