Local Scout adding bicycle route signs around park

On a cold winter morning, Boy Scout John Graham and a couple other members of Winchester’s Boy Scout Troop 56 met public works employees at Community Park to begin installing bike route signs around the neighborhood and the park.

Graham, a Winchester resident and junior at Model Laboratory School in Richmond, was leading the work on his Eagle Scout project, one of the major parts required to achieve the highest award in Scouting. To complete the project, a scout must develop a plan for a project to benefit the community, school or religious institution. The plan must also be approved by the organization, the troop and the council, as well as local authorities. They also lead the work on the project.

Winchester Sun: What are you doing this morning?

John Graham: “Freezing for one thing. We are putting up the signs for a Community Park and bike route. I’ve put the signs on the posts and We’re going around and putting signs in turn. We’re putting up seven posts. Then we’re putting the arrows and bike signs on each post.”

WS: Why did you choose this as your project?

JG: “I talked to Miss Nancy Turner at the tourism department. This is one that stuck out to me. It’s been a year-long process with all the people (involved), going before the board of commissioners. The community can really benefit from this. I’ve seen a lot of propel riding their bicycles around the streets. It’s dangerous because they’re narrow streets.”

WS: What has been the hardest part of your project?

JG: “For me, it’s getting all the approvals. I want to make sure everyone’s happy with my work. Then it’s getting the signs made and in the ground. This is the last step for the physical work. Then I have to write a report and go before a board of review with my troop.”

WS: How long have you been involved in Scouting?

JG: “I started when I was in the second grade. I started as a Bear Scout with Pack 22.”

WS: Why have you stayed with Scouting all these years?

JG: “The fellowship. I’ve made a lot of friends through Scouting. I’ve learned a lot of skills that are essential to life and have helped me so far and will continue to help me in the future.”