July 26, 2018

Eagle (Scout) lands on bridges

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Clermont County Park District Operations Superintendent Brian Marshall presents Eagle Scout candidate Sean Longbrake with a certificate of appreciation for building two trail bridges at the Hartman Log Cabin. Park District Deputy Director Tim Carr, left, and Director Chris Clingman, right, also were on hand to celebrate the completion of the project.

JACKSON TWP. – Many hands make light work.

Well, not light exactly. Not when 60 bags of Sakrete, stacks of lumber and piles of gravel are involved.

But when Batavia resident Sean Longbrake, 16, decided to construct a pair of bridges for trails at the Hartman Log Cabin for his Eagle Scout project, he enlisted plenty of help.

Over the course of five days in July, about 35 family, friends and fellow scouts assisted Longbrake in a build that made trails at the cabin that had been closed for almost two years passable again.

“I just wanted to do something to give back to my community,” he said. “Earning my Eagle Scout gave me an exceptional opportunity to do that.”

The Park District presented him a certificate of gratitude for his efforts July 25.

“It was a pretty smooth project,” said Brian Marshall, Park District Operations Superintendent, who helped oversee the build. “I think the hardest part was probably getting the materials back to the bridges.”

Longbrake said the biggest challenge was digging and pouring the post holes and foundations.

From there, he followed the design used by fellow Troop 135 member Max Kelley to construct a bridge at Pattison Park for his Eagle project completed in February. In fact, Max and his brothers Mike and Jack were among the helpers on this build.

That kind of camaraderie is what attracted Longbrake to scouting in the first place. He’s been part of the St. Veronica/Mt. Carmel troop led by Jeff Williams for 10 years, starting as a Cub at age 6.

“Mr. (John) Randazzo told us about caving, horseback riding, zip lining; he made it sound very exciting,” Longbrake said. “I’ve gotten to do all those things and more through scouting. I enjoy the people, the activities and the whole atmosphere of the scout spirt.”

Unlike most boys his age, Longbrake is headed to college in the fall. He skipped two grades and graduated from Covington Latin School this spring. He will attend Miami University, where he intends to study mathematics and classical languages.

“I’ll see where it leads me,” he said. “I was thinking of going into a professorship someday.”

Until then, Longbrake is pleased with his contribution to the community.

“I feel really happy I was able to help with the two bridges and get a step closer to earning my Eagle,” he said.

The Clermont County Park District welcomes Boy Scouts looking for Eagle projects and volunteers of any kind. Interested in getting involved with one of your community’s best public resources? Please call the park district office at 513-732-2977 or write to parkdistrict@clermontcountyohio.gov.

Mark D. Motz is the Community Relations Manager for the Clermont County Park District. A native Cincinnatian, he has worked for more than 25 years as an award-winning journalist and public relations professional. Away from work, he enjoys photography, theater and spending time with his nine godchildren.

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