Xander Babbitt, 14, saw a problem that needed fixing and got to work.
To earn his Eagle Scout badge, Babbitt who is the son of a U.S. Special Operations Command Soldier, emplaced benches along the All-American Trail that follows the perimeter of Fort Bragg.
It was a friend’s idea to emplace the benches, said Babbitt, who seems delighted to have taken on and completed the project.
The eight, steel framed, wood benches were emplaced, May 12, at various mile markers from 12 to 20, said Lt. Col. Joel Babbitt, Xander’s father. Fort Bragg Range Control, the church and various donors such as Regional Land Use Advisory Council and Hercules Steel donated much of the material.
According to Xander, one of the benefits of having a Soldier for a father is that he easily coordinated everything and helped to keep it on schedule, also noting that Joel earned his Eagle Scout badge in 1989 for cleaning up a river in his native state of Utah.
“He (Joel) was a big instigator in helping (Xander) to finish, follow through and get his merit badge because he knows what an accomplishment being an Eagle Scout is,” said Kristen, Xander’s mother.
“It took a party of 15, three trucks and an SUV to get the project completed,” Joel said. “We had a good time, we worked hard and we drank a lot of water,” he said.
Besides getting approval for the project, which took several months, the work was completed in different phases such as gathering the materials, clearing the trail and underbrush, building the benches and finally, emplacing and staining them onsite.
It is one of the reasons the Babbitts first signed Xander up for the Scouts.
Joel said, “It’s not so much about the outdoor activities and the learning to get along with other kids, but it’s really about the values he learns in Scouting and the leadership opportunities that he’s had,” said Joel