Matthew Hatch of South Paris recently achieved Eagle Scout rank. He is a member of Troop 130. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

PARIS — Matthew Hatch of Boy Scout Troop 130 recently achieved Eagle Scout, after completing his service project to build trail bridges at Western Maine Foothills Land Trusts’ Twin Bridges Preserve in Harrison. The project was completed in May.

Hatch has participated in scouting since he was in kindergarten and joined Cub Scouts as a bobcat. He said the last 12 years has been a great time to be in Scouts.

“My dad got me into Scouts which was fun, and a lot of my friends were Scouts too,” he recalled. “Some of the best times are just being at Scouts’ camp.”

In anticipation of earning his Eagle Scout rank, Hatch approached WFLT to find out what they would want him to work on. At first he was going to provide benches at the Roberts Farm Preserve warming hut in Norway.

Troop 130 Boy Scouts and volunteers gathered on May 8 at the Twin Bridges Preserve in Harrison to build two walking bridges on the trails. The project was planned and lead by Matthew Hatch as a requirement to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Sitting in front are Richard Dieterich, Steven McCann, Gage Towers, Pendarrin Cayer and James Estes. Standing in back are Eric Hatch, Assistant Scout Master Jeff Cayer, Scout Master Moe Hebert and Matthew Hatch. Lisa McCann / Advertiser Democrat

“But then they no longer needed that, so I focused on a bridge-building design at Twin Bridges,” Hatch said. “I had to have them approve the design, and then got to work pricing and sourcing materials.”

Technically, Hatch said he was not allowed to physically work on constructing the bridges.

“I have to direct the project, like an overseer,” he said. “The challenges, that was up to me to solve. I didn’t do the labor, but I had to watch it come together.

“When you go for your Eagle project anyone in the troop can join, anyone of your friends or family. Typically you get a lot of Scout and family help, which is a good thing. You help others out and they’ll help you. I helped out with seven Eagle projects before starting mine. When I crossed over to Boy Scouts in 2014 I helped others who were older, so I could see the end result of the work. We have a few boys close to Eagle and they’ll have help the same way.”

Teamwork is how many Scouts go about earning their badges. Hatch estimates that of his 27 Boy Scout badges only a few were individual challenges.

Matthew Hatch of South Paris, right, works with other Boy Scouts on their Pioneering Badge. The group built a working merry-go-round from sticks and rope. Supplied photo

“Pioneering, that is where you build a physically working structure out of sticks and rope,” said Hatch. “We had a certain amount of time and had to put it all together in a week. We built a merry-go-round. A lot of the badges are group efforts. There were four of us for Pioneering.

“One of the hardest I did was hiking. We had to complete four five-mile hikes, two 10-mile hikes, one 15-mile hike and one 20-mile hike. You have to do the 20-mile in one day. Part of it is preparing what you need, telling people where you’re going and mapping out where you went. There were four of us on that one, too.”

Another achievement for Hatch has been the Order of the Arrow, the Boy Scouts’ honor society. Scouts and Scouters are elected to the order by their peers in recognition of leadership qualities, camping skills, and other Scouting ideals. There are three levels of the Order of the Arrow; Hatch currently sits at midlevel – brotherhood. The initial honor is Ordeal and the final is Vigil.

Hatch’s metal working badge helped pave the way to his chosen career path. He is enrolled in Central Maine Community College’s precision machining program for this fall. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of his uncle, a civilian contracted engineer at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

But he is not leaving the Scouting life behind. He will soon start Youth Protection training, the certification needed to become a Scout Leader.

“You need Youth Protection training, which is a course to have to know to handle different situations, he explained. “Making sure the boys stay safe, and have fun. We’ll do outings at lest once a month. And we welcome them when they cross over.

“We want them to keep moving forward but also be happy as a Scout. I’ll be involved with Scouts for a long time.”

 

 

 

 

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