A scout's musical honor: Boy scout makes musical playground a reality for Bemidji
BEMIDJI--Music will be in the air this summer at the inclusive playground near the iconic Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues. As part of his project to earn the Eagle ranking, 17-year-old Life Scout Daniel Roberts launched a fundraising cam...
BEMIDJI-Music will be in the air this summer at the inclusive playground near the iconic Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues.
As part of his project to earn the Eagle ranking, 17-year-old Life Scout Daniel Roberts launched a fundraising campaign last year to add musical playground equipment to the park. In total, the Bemidji area scout raised $11,600 to purchase the equipment for the playground.
"Daniel came to see me about a year ago with the idea for his Eagle Scout project to add the musical playground somewhere in our park system," Bemidji Parks and Recreation Director Marcia Larson said. "I've seen those musical instruments before, so I figured it would be a great match for our park."
Roberts said he first learned about the playground instruments during a camping trip in Utah when he was younger, and as a fan of music, the memory of the equipment stayed with him.
As a result, Roberts incorporated it into his project.
"The tradition in scouting for Eagle is you select a project of your choosing that benefits the community," Roberts said. "A good Eagle project takes well over 100 hours to complete, and it also has to include other scouts in your troop."
As part of the project, Roberts wrote about 50 letters to collect donations.
"The first thing I did was write letters to organizations, businesses and family members requesting donations and I also posted it to Facebook to connect with more people," Roberts said. "It just came together quite fast. We had a lot of people come forward and say 'this is a cool project and we want to support it.'"
"Daniel raised the money to pay for the equipment and our department agreed to pour the concrete. As part of his project, Daniel will work with the park superintendent to put the pieces together and install them," Larson said. "It will be a place where those with and without disabilities can play together and I think music is part of that too. The addition of the music instruments makes the playground more inclusive."
Roberts said the plan is to install the equipment with the help of other scouts on June 1 and have a dedication ceremony in either July or August. Once the project is finished, Roberts will write up a summary and submit it to the local scouts district as one of the items completed to earn the Eagle rank.