Jared R. Gillan, a Boy Scout with Boy Scout Troop 3 of Albany, Ga., showcases a new sign at one of Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany's nature trails, Feb. 4,
2012. He and more than 40 volunteers, spruced up one of the trails between Building 3500 and Maintenance Center Albany for an Eagle Scout project. Photo by Nathan Hanks
Jared R. Gillan observes Boy Scouts as they clean the sign at the nature trails entrance, Feb. 4,
2012. Photo by Nathan Hanks
ALBANY, Ga. (2/9/2012) -- A 17-year old Albany teen
working toward the rank of Eagle Scout led a restoration
project of a nature trail aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base
Albany, Feb. 4.
Jared R. Gillan chose the nature
trail between Building 3500 and Maintenance Center Albany
for his community leadership project, a requirement to
become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouts. He is
a member of Boy Scout Troop 3 of Albany, Ga., led by
Scoutmaster Mike Johnson.
Jared, a Life Scout and a
senior at Lee County High School, discussed several project
ideas with his father, Daniel Gillan, a retired Marine Corps
colonel. After numerous conversations, a project aboard MCLB
Albany was recommended.
“I wanted to do something
different from the other Boy Scouts,” he said. “When I heard
about the nature trail, I jumped on it because I thought it
would be an awesome idea.”
In July 2011, Jared and
his mother, Andrea Gillan, met with Al Belanger, game
warden, MCLB Albany, and toured the nature trail.
“Service is a key part of scouting,” Belanger said. “The
restoration project gives Jared the opportunity to demonstrate and
enhance his leadership skills while performing a project that will
benefit the base community. This is a great opportunity for MCLB
Albany and the Boy Scouts to work together and make a positive
impact on the base's conservation efforts.”
started as a Tiger Cub Scout in 1999 and has been a Boy Scout since
2005, said the nature trail was in poor condition.
“The trail needed a lot of cleaning up to be made safe for
Marines and civilian-Marines to use,” Jared said. “There were a lot
of fallen trees and limbs on the path. It was not a place where I
would walk or run if I worked here.”
More than 40 volunteers arrived at the base to help
Jared, who then led the them to the nature trail's entrance
where he conducted a detailed safety brief. He divided them
up into teams and gave them specific tasks.
marked the two trails by spray painting scarlet and gold
triangles on certain trees to identify each path. The other
team, Boy Scout Troop 1, raked, shoveled and removed debris
off the trail from a recent tree harvest.
used a chainsaw to cut down rotted trees previously marked
by Jared. The scouts dragged the trees into the nearby woods
away from the trail. In addition, the sign at the entrance
of trail was disassembled, washed and reassembled with the
Daniel said most scouts ask for
donations to complete their projects. Instead of raising
money for supplies, Jared saved his weekly allowance and
purchased the items including $26 for paint and $73 for
hardware, material and cleaning supplies. Jared, with help
from his mom and dad, also provided $250 for lunch, which
included sub sandwiches, drinks and a dessert.
the end of the day, Jared and his father hung an arrow
shaped sign bearing his name, troop and month and year the
project was completed below the main sign at the trail's
“I feel proud and honored to be able to
provide a place where Marines and civilian-Marines can walk
or run,” he said. “The men and women here work hard every
day to make sure we have a safe place to live. They are out
there every day fighting for us. I just wanted to give
something back, repay them for protecting me.”
Although the nature trail is now finished, Jared is not an
Eagle Scout, yet. He still has to finish a write-up for the
project, complete one merit badge and must pass a review
board before he will be eligible.
Leadership Service Project is the ultimate test of a scout's
leadership, according to Scoutmaster Johnson.
we hope Jared will gain is knowledge in planning, organizing
and completing his project,” he said. “After he completes
the project, he was to write a report analyzing the success
of the project, changes that took place during the project
and things he would have done differently. This is a
tremendous step in his leadership.”
scheduled to be Troop 3's 150th Eagle Scout, Johnson added.
“To say that I am proud or to say I am thrilled with
Jared does not illustrate the sense of pride I feel for his
achievement,” his father said. “It's been amazing to see
Jared mature and suddenly realize that he can really
accomplish what at first seemed like an impossible task.
Andrea and I are happy to see him realize the importance of
service to others.”
By Nathan Hanks
Comment on this article