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Scout's Vision for Outdoor Classroom Becomes Reality

A new outdoor classroom at Bentley was dedicated Friday after hard work from Wesley Hildebrand and friends.

The following is courtesy of the Hildebrands.

For Wesley Hildebrand or Boy Scout Troop 83, an environment where a student is empowered to learn makes a difference.

So, why not have a space where young people can learn about the environment and planet they live on outdoors? It all seemed, logical but where to build an outdoor classroom for this scout became the issue. 

Hildebrand worked at first with to put the classroom there before it was learned renovations would occur at that school prohibiting it from being built there. After a conversation with the city’s Director of Building Services Paul L'Heureux, was suggested. The school was where Hildebrand attended before going to the .

He had many meetings with his mentors, scouting officials, the school principal, school board, superintendent and the mayor’s office to present the plans, and it was unanimously approved. The plans included space layouts, benches, lists of supplies and how it would work inside of ADA guidelines.

The Eagle Scout rank is the highest honor in Boy Scouting. Projects must have at least 100 hours done by the scout and his volunteer team collectively. Hildebrand’s project to date has logged over 300 hours by members of Troop 83, students at Essex Agricultural and Technical High School, friends and family. Donations came from Moynihan Lumber, Home Depot, Backyard Depot, Peabody Building Supply, Salem Witch Museum, CityView Trolley and several friends, family and community members. Ye Olde Pepper Companie, Capt’s Waterfront Restaurant, Kishgraphics, and Ms. Kerri Martin donated lunches, snacks and drinks.

On Friday, , was dedicated with a ribbon cutting ceremony. In attendance were Mayor Kimberley Driscoll,  L’Heureux, Troop 83 Scoutmaster Larry Spang, mentor Kathleen Hoff, Principal McFarland, parents Charlie and Jerrie Hildebrand, teachers, and students.

Hildebrand spoke to the students about leadership, never giving up and working towards a goal you believe in. Principal McFarland thanked Hildebrand for his gift to the school. Mayor Driscoll commended Mr. Hildebrand for his courage, dedication and vision. Mr. Spang then shared about the value of scouting and the rewards of working towards one’s goals. The ceremony ended with a ribbon cutting in front of the doors to the courtyard that houses the classroom.

Students shook Hildebrand’s hand thanking him. Some have already been using it and love it. It was the perfect ending of the story of one young man’s vision of a gift he wanted to give.

Mr. Pellegrino October 17, 2011 at 09:01 PM
Way to Go Wesley! - Mr. P
Diane Wolf October 17, 2011 at 10:46 PM
Proud to know you, Wes.

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