Church confirmation inspires Eagle Scout project

By Georgia Sparling | Oct 01, 2016
Photo by: Georgia Sparling Prospective Eagle Scout Chris Horton Jr. and new scout, Connor MacLoud, install a bench at the First Congregational Church of Marion.

Marion — Marion Boy Scout Chris Horton Jr.'s Eagle Scout project gives First Congregational Church of Marion parishioners a new way to enjoy the lawn.

Horton, a 17-year-old senior at Old Rochester Regional High School, constructed two benches that wrap around trees on the Front Street side of the church.

An active member of the congregation, Horton said a number of old benches gave out the same year he was confirmed, and it gave him an idea.

“I wanted to give something back to the church,” he said. “This church supports our troop.”

Horton, the son of Chris Sr. and Kelly Horton, has been in the Boy Scouts for 11 years and remembers helping others with their Eagle Scout projects when he was still in elementary school.

He has long loved being part of the organization.

Speaking of new scout Connor MacLoud, Horton said it brought back memories from when he was a young member of Marion Troop 32.

“I remember how excited I was to join up,” he said. “It's just so fun. The time just flies by.”

For the bench project, Horton started out with some lofty goals, namely a French contemporary design made of mahogany. Using hardwood proved to be a challenge, so he went back to the drawing board and came up with the idea for wrap around benches that would take up less space than a traditional bench but offer a nice place to sit.

The scout got help from two mentors, Al Winters and Peter Sowden, who were on hand  along with a handful of Boy Scouts to help install the benches.

Pastor Sheila Rubdi stopped by to see the scouts' work and said the benches will be great for fellowship in the yard after services.

“It's a wonderful addition to our church,” she said. “We're so grateful to Chris Jr. for doing this project.”

Rubdi had only good things to say about Horton, who helps setup for the church fair each year and also spends time with kids in Sunday school.

“He has made good use of his Boy Scout skills,” she said.

As for Horton, he's happy with how the project has shaped up.

“It's been a journey,” said Horton. “It's been a lot of hard work.”

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