Scout completes Eagle Scout project on Block Island for TNC

Fri, 09/23/2022 - 3:30pm
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On August 27, 2022, Barrington Life Scout Jacob Dickstein, 15, led the Scouts of Troop 55 Riverside by car, ferry, and bike to complete his Eagle Scout Service Project, building three pedestrian bridges for The Nature Conservancy at Clay Head Trail on Block Island.
Jacob, who is the Senior Patrol Leader for the Troop 55 Boys troop and a sophomore at Barrington High School, wanted his project to have meaning and impact. “I really love the oceans and nature. My project allowed me to share both of these passions with my fellow Scouts,” said Jacob.
Jacob worked with Kim Gaffett of The Nature Conservancy on Block Island to understand the needs of the Clay Head Trail, a unique parcel of land donated by the Lapham family that invites visitors to discover the beauty of the north end of Block Island via trails across its 150 acres.
Jacob then designed the bridges, worked with local companies to obtain the materials, talked to the New Shoreham Town Council to obtain camping permits, got 24 Scouts and leaders excited to join the adventure, and
loaded all of the wood, camping gear, and food into a rented van for the trip over.
Jacob led the Scouts and adults to carry out his vision, adapting whenever there were rocks in the way (literally), and staying hydrated during the hot sweaty day.
Chris Cunha, scoutmaster of Troop 55 Boys, noted “Jacob did an amazing job planning. His leadership on site was great so we got the project done.”
Kim Gaffett of The Nature Conservancy Block Island commented, “Jacob and the Scouts of Troop 55 did an impressive job accomplishing so much.”
Daniel Dickstein, an adult leader with Troop 55 and Jacob’s dad, reflected: “The past two-plus years have shown us that when we work together, we can accomplish more than we ever thought possible. That’s what Jacob and Troop 55 are all about, with Scouts from towns on the East and West Bay, boys, girls, and gender inclusive. We are so proud of Jacob.”
With the project finished, and school started, Jacob’s journey to Eagle will require him to write up what he learned from his project and finish up a few merit badges. “I hope to be an Eagle Scout in the new year,” says Jacob.
Troop 55 meets Mondays at 18 Turner Avenue in Riverside, R.I. near Borealis Coffee. Interested families can visit troop55riversideri.org.