(NORTH SALEM, N.Y.) --There are currently two Eagle Scout public service projects underway, being led by Aaron Brethower and David Posa, two of the leaders of North Salem Troop 1. Once these projects are complete, they will provide valuable public amenities in the town. Eagle Scout is the highest rank that a Boy Scout can achieve.

One of the most demanding parts of becoming an Eagle Scout is that it requires the candidate to be a leader. The Eagle Scout candidate must design a public service project, demonstrate its value to the leadership of the troop and the Westchester-Putnam Boy Scout Council, identify the needed resources, and organize any necessary fund-raising. The scout must actually lead the actual execution of the project.

For those who successfully complete these tasks, it is a substantial achievement. Posa is leading a team of scouts and other volunteers in the construction of a patio for the North Salem Historical Society. The patio will lie adjacent to the Historical Society’s headquarters (the “White Elephant” building) on Keeler Lane. The patio will be 15 feet square, constructed of slate, and will have a four foot deep, two foot diameter concrete column in the center to support the weight of a historic grindstone.

Sign Up for E-News

The stone --generously donated to the Historical Society by Jackie and Peter Kamenstein--is an interesting North Salem historic artifact. It came from a North Salem grist mill. Grist mills were used during the 1600’s to the 1800’s to grind corn and wheat to make flour for local residents. The North Salem grist mill supplied flour to Westchester and surrounding communities. The stone will be restored and showcased in the center of the patio.

Posa feels that the patio will be useful for the Historical Society and will be a valuable demonstration and reminder of an important part of our local history. The Historical Society is paying the cost of David’s project. For his project, Brethower is leading a group of scouts and volunteers at the Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden in the construction of an outdoor, in-ground “life-size” game board for playing Chess or Shogi (a game that is popular in Japan and is similar to chess).

The game board will be 20 feet square, and the project involves leveling the ground, installing proper drainage, and creating a 9-by-9 grid of two-foot square game board spaces surrounded by a border of Belgian block. Brethower says the Chess-Shogi game board will be a fun and educational tool that will appeal to youngsters, families, and a wide variety of other people, and encourage them to develop strategic and mathematical skills from playing Chess or Shogi. Brethower is in the process of raising money to pay for the $4,000 cost of the project.

If you wish to support his project, please visit Gofundme.com/Hammond-Eagle-Project. Posa and Brethower are both juniors at North Salem High School, and are leaders of North Salem Troop 1.

They have both been active in scouting since first grade, and have been good friends for that entire time. They are active participants in each other’s projects. The fact they make time for each other’s projects during what for each of them is a very busy time, should tell you a lot about these young men and about scouting!

The two are accomplishing something special. But do not just take my word for it, come and see for yourself. We encourage all members of the public to come to Brethower and Posa’s, either to provide some “sweat equity,” or just to see how the projects are progressing.

I guarantee that you will be impressed by the ability of these young men to lead such undertakings.

You can find out about future work sessions by emailing us at scoutmaster@northsalem1.mytroop.us.