2017-05-18 / Front Page

Scout builds a trail to success

By Gary Gould
810-452-2650 • ggould@mihomepaper.com


Robert Walker, left, and Casey Reed, parks and recreation director for Davison Township, look over one of the storybook books he and Boy Scout Troop 178 built at the Williams Nature and Historical Learning Center. Walker standing behind the first box along the trail. 
Photos by Gary Gould Robert Walker, left, and Casey Reed, parks and recreation director for Davison Township, look over one of the storybook books he and Boy Scout Troop 178 built at the Williams Nature and Historical Learning Center. Walker standing behind the first box along the trail. Photos by Gary Gould DAVISON TWP. — When Robert Walker, 15, had to come up with a project to achieve the necessary badges to become an Eagle Scout, he turned to the township’s parks and recreation department to see if there was something there needing to be done.

Casey Reed, parks and recreation director, said she had a job for the Davison High School freshman, though she suspected it might be a lot for a young man like Walker to take on.

Creation of a Storybook Trail at the Williams Nature and Historical Learning, 10069 Atherton Rd., was one of those things Reed said she wanted to see come to life. So she ran it by Walker.

“This thing was on my wish list,” she said of the trail. “What Robert came up with was very organized, with detailed plans and drawings.”

The trail itself already was in place, running north from the Davison Historical Museum for about a quarter mile into the woods. Walker and his fellow Troop 178 scouts built a serious of 12 clear boxes along the trail, each capable of hold a page of a children’s book.

The idea is for the children to read while they connect with nature along the way.

Walker said he after plans were finalized he began efforts to raise funds for the project. He ended up collecting $800, so decided to set his goal at $1,000 – which he managed to achieve in a short time. Then he had a contractor look over his plans and changes were recommended before he got started on the construction of the trail boxes.

In all, he said he probably put 20 hours into the project, while construction took about 30 hours with the help of the Davison United Methodist Church Boy Scout Troop.

“I’d say in all, everyone’s hours combined, we put in more than 100 hours,” said Walker.

Reed said the first book featured in the Storybook Trail is written by a Davison teacher. She said she plans to change the books out a couple times a month until after Labor Day. Then maybe only once a month.

Overall, Walker said building the trail was something he and the other scouts enjoyed, “We thought it was a lot of work, but it wouldn’t be too bad.”

“It gets kids outside and active in the park,” said Reed. “It’s all about brains and body. The path is just under a quart-of-amile and it’s rugged with some good hills on it.”

Walker said he’s been a part of scouting since joining the organization in 2008.

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