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Fredonia Eagle Scout project renovates camp amphitheater

t the top is the renovated amphitheater at Camp Gross.

On Sunday, Sept. 22, a ceremony welcoming Justin Powell of Fredonia Boy Scout Troop 267 to the rank of Eagle Scout was celebrated at Camp Gross in Cassadaga at their newly reconstructed amphitheater.

Justin has been an active member of Boy Scouts since entering the first grade, participating in monthly campouts, leadership training, and attending the high adventure camp at Summit Bechtel Reserve for the Boy Scout National Jamboree. He was selected as the Chautauqua County American Legion Cub Scout of the Year as a Webelos. He is a junior with honors at Fredonia High School.

To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, Justin needed to proceed through the many rank advancements in Scouting as well as earn 21 merit badges. Justin earned a total of 37 merit badges awarding him 3 Eagle Palms at the ceremony. Additionally, a scout must complete and lead an Eagle Project to benefit his community.

Justin chose Camp Gross in Cassadaga as the recipient. Camp Goss was where Justin spent his first overnight campout as a Cub Scout and many more in the 10 years following. As young scout, Justin noticed the amphitheater was in need of renovating and thought it would be a good possible Eagle Project when he was older.

Justin led 47 volunteers made up of family, friends, and members of Troop 267 donating 585 hours to the project. He was fortunate to have numerous businesses donate toward the project as well.

From left: Pictured are Assemblyman Andy Goodell, Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello, Scoutmaster Thomas Annear, and Eagle Scout Justin Powell.

The 21 amphitheater benches each rest on 63 concrete footers. Numerous hours were spent hand digging the holes and removing extensive roots from the hillside. Additionally, two sets of railroad tie stairs were constructed to make accessing the amphitheater safer. The stage was then repaired, power washed, and repainted.

Justin was graced by the attendance of many special guests at the afternoon ceremony, and was honored through speeches given by Assemblyman Andy Goodell, County Executive George Borrello; Fredonia Village Trustees Doug Essek and Roger Britz; Chautauqua County Scouting American Legion Chairman Jay McManus; Chartered Organization Representative of the American Legion Post 59 Ron Bouquin; Camp Gross Foundation Board President Vince Vecchio; Camp Gross Ranger Tim Cobb; and Two Lakes District Committee Chair Jeff Cunningham.

A special thanks to the following businesses and people that contributed in some way toward the project: Jamestown Macadam Inc., Storer’s Container Service, B&S Discount Tire, Concord Pharmacy, Tim Hortons of Fredonia, Dunkirk & Cassadaga, Fredonia Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Joe Gugino CFP, EMC Construction, Add Lumber Co, Sons of the American Legion Post 59, Alona M. Forbes & Family, Cooley Family, Davis Construction, Carapella Masonry, and Echevarria Designs.

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