Dog owners at Creekside Park in Clinton Township may have noticed the addition of four new benches, thanks to Eagle Scout candidate George Duffy.
In his pursuit of achieving the highest Boy Scouts rank, 16-year-old Duffy, a Lackawanna Trail High School junior, looked for a project that could benefit his community.
He learned that the dog enclosure area at Creekside Park lacked a proper seating area and presented a proposal to the Creekside Park Board.
With some assistance from his father, Duffy built four benches and then enlisted the help of his fellow scouts from Troop 175 in Factoryville to bring them into the park. This included Nathan Wescott, Brayden Clarke, and Ryan Semon.
Each bench has a small plaque reading “Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout Project, George Duffy, Troop 175, August 2020.”
This is Duffy’s sixth year in Boy Scouts. His friends initially got him interested in joining, and he’s stayed the course ever since, moving through the ranks to get to Eagle.
“I enjoy mainly doing different knots and learning a lot of the skills,” he said. “I also enjoy a lot of the outdoor activities that go along with it, like hiking, biking and camping.”
Right now, he has 34 merit badges, but expects to reach 51 or so by the end of the summer.
“My favorite is most likely the cycling merit badge,” Duffy said. “I did a lot of different cycle rides with it, and I ended up visiting a troop out of the area in order to do it, so I got to meet a lot of different people.”
Duffy isn’t officially an Eagle Scout yet, as his case awaits a final review. Through this project, he hopes to make the dog area more comfortable, especially for elderly park goers.
“Hopefully they get a lot of use,” he said.
His mother, Kim Duffy, admires his community involvement and willingness to help others.
“To see him come this far, I’m so very proud of him,” she said.
His father, George Duffy Sr., also expressed pride toward seeing him complete the Eagle Scout requirements.
“I’m very proud, and surprised how determined and dedicated he was,” he said. Scouting has also given them an opportunity to bond, whether it’s building benches or cycling together. “I enjoy doing it with him.”
Gregg Yunko, who serves on the Creekside Park Board, said the dog area gets a lot of use from locals and people in other communities. Before Duffy finished his project, Yunko noted that there wasn’t anywhere to sit in that area other than a few old lawn chairs people put there.
“He did a fantastic job,” Yunko said.
He thanked Duffy and his fellow Boy Scouts for their help in bringing something beneficial to the community.
“That’s what we need today, kids like that,” he said.
For more information about Creekside Park, visit factoryville.org.