Boardman Scout earns Eagle with Camp Frederick project
BOARDMAN — Jason Sweder, a Boardman High School senior, has completed his Eagle Scout project at Camp Frederick in Rogers, installing signage along a 5K trail and improving a fire ring with some sturdy seating.
It’s a project he and hundreds of others will be enjoying as spring weather takes hold in the Valley.
Jason, son of Jeff and Christie Sweder, started his Scouting experience with Pack 114 and moved up to Troop 9046, based out of the Boardman United Methodist Church. He spent 11 years with 9046 and earned his required merit badges to pursue his Eagle Award.
“My project benefited Camp Frederick, a Christian youth camp and retreat center in Rogers,” Jason said. “I planned, supervised and assisted in the fabrication and installation of signposts, maps and trail markers along a 5K cross-country course through the wooded hills of the camp’s property. My project also included renovating an existing stone campfire ring and building seating for around the campfire in the form of eight timber benches, each weighing over 200 pounds.”
The projects that Jason chose came from a list of ideas provided by camp Director Matt Miller.
Miller said Jason’s is the first Scout project for the camp since he became director, and he is pleased with the outcome.
“The improvements that Jason and his team made here at Camp Frederick have been so helpful,” Miller said. “We absolutely love the new benches. They are very well-built and extremely versatile for our needs here at camp. The new trail markings have been so helpful in creating an easy-to-use hiking / running experience for our guests. The directional signs and arrows are well-made and will last for a long time.
“Both of these projects, including the renovation of our counsel fire area, have been put to use on a regular basis. We are very thankful for all of Jason’s hard work on this project,” Miller said.
Jason had to raise roughly $3,000 for materials and he put in close to 40 hours in planning. The actual assembly and installation took roughly 166 hours.
Jason said he did get a lot of material and labor donations. Boardman Center Intermediate School donated plexiglass for the trail markers, Lowe’s donated wood, paint and stain. Home Depot waived the delivery fee for the bench materials that were purchased.
All the work was done last fall and on Oct. 6, 2022, he had his Eagle Court of Honor.
He said besides being able to enjoy his efforts in the great outdoors at Camp Frederick, he learned some valuable life lessons.
“I found the entire project challenging,” he said. “The planning phase was the most difficult part. I (also) discovered what it is like to lead a project. It has created life-long memories, allowed me to form many friendships and enabled me to develop life skills.”
Jason’s father, Jeff, said: “As parents we could not be prouder of all that Jason has accomplished in scouting. According to national statistics, only 8 percent of the youths who begin in Scouting achieve the rank of Eagle. This demonstrates the amount of dedication needed, as well as the time commitment necessary to complete this journey.
“Scouting has taught Jason skills that he will utilize throughout his life. It has helped him realize the value of teamwork and allowed him to build many friendships,” his father continued. “The best part of the project is knowing that the individuals who attend the camp will be able to enjoy the fire pit, benches and cross-country course for years to come.”