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Eagle project earns scout recognition

ENCINITAS — When considering what Eagle Scout project to pursue, Christopher Bennett aimed to leave a long-term mark on the city.

“In 30 years, I wanted to show my family and friends and say, ‘Hey, I did this and it’s still helping the community,’” said Bennett, who began with Boy Scouts of America at the age of 7.

Safe to say, he accomplished his goal.

He designed a new kiosk at the head of Leucadia’s Indian Head Canyon trail and headed the efforts to build it.

The wooden kiosk, which was recently installed, is a forum for residents to post information about community happenings and trail conditions.

From leadership to organizational abilities, the project required a host of skills.

The process began with putting together a blueprint of the kiosk.

To get ideas, Bennett examined existing kiosks around the city. From there, he incorporated design elements from those into his own template and added personal touches, like a concave roof.

Drawing up plans sparked an interest in engineering, a subject Bennett, a junior at San Dieguito Academy, is now considering studying once he attends college.

“I’ve always like physics and math,” Bennett said. “Engineering combines the two.”

He added: “the kiosk was my starting point for engineering.”

He also raised more than $1,000 for materials and other costs by asking residents to donate to the cause.

“I came across a lot of scouts, old and young, who were willing to support me,” Bennett said.

Then came an especially challenging part: getting scouts on the same page, and building the project.

“You have to organize meetings to get other scouts to help you,” Bennett said, adding that he coordinated times, sent out emails and gave direction to everyone at meetings.

All told, including the more than 40 scouts who contributed time, roughly 350 hours went into the project.

“I’ve seen people walk by and check out information on the board — it’s a good feeling,” Bennett said, noting he donated the kiosk to the city.

For his commitment, he was recognized at the Encinitas Parks and Recreation Commission meeting on Tuesday night.

“We like to recognize Eagle Scouts for all their hard work,” said Encinitas Park and Beach Supervisor Bob Keeley.

Keeley noted Eagle Scouts have completed helpful projects across the city, including a footbridge and shade structure at Indian Head Canyon, which has more than six miles of trails.

“We’re looking for features to enhance trails,” Keeley said. “They’ve provided a great service.”

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