APG Scout leads area clean-up project

Eagle Scout candidate Daniel Blamires, 18, of Troop 973, far left, supervises the construction of a foot bridge near the APG South (Edgewood) archery range Feb. 26. | Courtesy photo

An APG South (Edgewood) resident and Eagle Scout candidate decided to make a difference in his community by organizing a project to refurbish the APG South archery range.

Daniel Blamires, 18, of Boy Scout Troop 973, started planning the project two years ago. The refurbishment became his Eagle Scout Service Project known as the “Eagle Project.”

The project included installing new targets, laying down mulch, building a new foot bridge, and clearing a pathway to the archery range, which is located near the Exton Golf Course. Work on the project started Feb. 26 and was completed March 5.

“I wanted Soldiers who fight for our country to have a place to relax with their family members,” Blamires said.

Daniel Blamires | U.S. Army photo by Rachel Ponder


Planning the project

The project required approval from Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Outdoor Recreation. Blamires submitted a project proposal that detailed current condition and proposed modifications as well as cost estimates and labor requirements.

He organized a fundraiser at Wayback Burgers in Bel Air and also received donated lumber and hardware from 84 Lumber. He accepted donations from Troop 973 members and their families, and from other well-wishers around the community as well, he said.

Blamires said 30 scouts and volunteers completed the foot bridge in one day.

“On the first day the boys worked really hard and got a lot done,” he said, adding that on March 5, about 10 scouts helped clear the archery range path.

“It was a great feeling to get everything done.”


Learning leadership skills

Blamires credits Eagle Scout Sammy Mahmoud, 17, a senior at Harford Technical High School, with helping him complete the foot bridge. Mahmoud is a student in the HTHS carpentry program.

“[When you are a leader] you are working with more experienced people and getting it done,” he said.

Mahmoud called the experience “pretty great.”

“I definitely saw that he took initiative in planning the project,” he said. “Pretty much every time I had a question, he had the answer to it. He definitely prepared and had the supplies and the materials. He did a good job with delegation.”

Blamires has been involved in scouting since he was 5 years old. He called earning the rank of Eagle Scout the “epitome of scouting.”

“[Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout], it really speaks of who you are,” he said.

Scout Nathan Hillhouse, 11, said he enjoyed assisting with the project.

“I learned how long it took to plan a project like this,” he said. “You can’t just do it in a couple of hours.”

Scout Master Dave Wehberg said he was pleased with the project, adding that Blamires communicated effectively with the volunteers.

“[Eagle Scout candidates] they are basically a project manager, they plan out the whole thing, and they give everybody tasks,” he said.

Blamires’ parents Maj. Monty Blamires, with the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense, or JPEO-CBD, and Pennie Blamires said they are proud to see their son reach his goals.

“He is doing a lot of great things, now it’s time to let go, that’s the tough part,” Monty Blamires said. “It’s bittersweet; I am glad to see him get the Eagle [Scout honor] but it also brings it home the fact that he is about done [with high school].”

Daniel Blamires will attend Boise State University in the fall.

“I hope a project like this will make people look around their community, and see what they can help improve,” he said.


By Rachel Ponder, APG News