The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 31, 2012

Eagle Scout project benefits visitors at Hess Fields

By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News

— DANVILLE — Users of Hess Fields should find more information at the entrance and the start of trails thanks to the efforts of Boy Scout Joseph Christian Baker.

With help, Baker, of Riverside, constructed three kiosks at the fields. Bob Stoudt, Montour Area Recreation Commission director, suggested building the kiosks. The commission manages the fields.

The first kiosk is at the entrance to the fields. The next one is at the trailhead to a bike path and will probably have maps about the trails. The third, for the skills bike path, stands on the opposite side of the pavilion.

Each kiosk is wooden with a Plexiglas cover and a roof overtop. The viewing area, for announcements and information about the park and trails, is about 4 feet by 3 feet. Baker said each is supported by two 12-foot pieces of wood.

He got help from his troop - Boy Scout Troop 139 sponsored by St. Joseph Church — Knights of Columbus of Danville, friends and family.

He is an altar server at St. Joseph Church in Danville.

“We built the parts at the same time and put them all in at once,” said Baker, a Danville Area High School senior. The installations were complete the first week of school in August.

A post hole digger was donated.

Baker raised money for materials from a spaghetti dinner held at St. Joseph School and through donations received.

“This was the biggest construction project I have ever taken on. All the adults who helped had strong construction and carpentry backgrounds,” he said. His dad, Ralph, helped with the construction. His mother, Virginia, assisted with planning for the spaghetti dinner attended by about 100.

Saying many people use the fields, Baker has used the Hess bike trails and practiced playing baseball a long time ago there.

The project completes Baker’s Eagle Scout award requirements. He expects to receive the honor in January or February.

In his troop, he serves as den chief and as senior patrol leader.

At school, he bowls on the varsity bowling team and has been bowling most of his high school years.

Baker plans to join the tennis team.

He is a member of the National Honor Society and the Engineering Club. He played baseball and basketball in past years at school.

After he graduates, Baker expects to study computer science at the University of Pittsburgh. He especially enjoys programming.

He also works at Maria Joseph Continuing Care Community.