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Posted 10/3/2018

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By Jamie Kordack
USACE, New England District

Three Boy Scouts successfully raced the clock, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout by completing their projects at Buffumville Lake/Hodges Village Dam before each turned 18. The scouts took over Buffumville/Hodges Village, performing community service projects, large in scope and grand in benefit. 

The first of the three young men to complete his project before the onset of adulthood was Dan Kelly, Boy Scout Troop 273 in Dudley, Massachusetts.  His labor-intensive project was to anchor with rocks along the Buffumville Dam blacktop edge that began crumbling from people stepping off.  He blocked unwanted walkers’ paths up and down the rip rap slopes, both top and bottom, with large, flat stones to alleviate the erosion problem.  He then installed educational signs to explain why visitors should keep off the rock slopes.  Besides the issue of erosion and damage to the road surface, walking on the riprap is a visitor safety concern.  It took Kelly and his troop four mornings to complete over two dozen paths along the one-mile length of the dam structure.

Matthew Mulcahy, Boy Scout Troop 165 in Oxford, Massachusetts, chose a Buffumville Boat Ramp Life Jacket Loaner Kiosk that focuses on Water Safety at the Lake, as his Eagle Project.  Mulcahy researched, designed and built an open yet protected kiosk to hang life jackets to be used by boaters who forgot their essential safety equipment.  A sign installed on the front of the kiosk, “Did you forget something?” gently reminds boaters to wear life jackets while on the lake.  In addition, Mulcahy created an educational sign that explains how to pick the proper life jacket size from child to adult.  The Eagle Scout candidate was able to obtain the life jackets from donations by private companies.  Mulcahy’s kiosk at the boat ramp complements the big kiosk across the street at the day use beach.  A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on July 13 to mark the kiosk opening for business.  Mulcahy’s mother and grandparents attended the ceremony.

Lastly, Jack Cady of Boy Scout Troop 147 in Oxford, Massachusetts took inspiration from his father, a member of the local law enforcement/EMS community, for his Eagle Project.  His “Lost” Trail Plan at Hodges Village focused on Visitor Safety.  Cady walked the entire east side of the Hodges Village trail system to figure out the best locations – to include multi-trail convergences, large landing/sitting zones, major trail heads – for posts with signs.  He designed each sign with distinct names, numbers and GPS coordinates, then with his Troop’s assistance, installed pressure-treated posts.  Before installing the signs, Cady met and coordinated with the chiefs of police, fire/EMS.  Additional information packages about the “Lost” Trail Plan were mailed out to Massachusetts State Police and the Massachusetts Environmental Police.  Cady’s project inspired other scouts to continue the program.  One Eagle Scout candidate is currently working on the West Side of Hodges Village, while another is working on a similar project for the whole 7.2-mile loop of Buffumville Lake. With over 22 miles of trails at Hodges Village Dam, this program will be invaluable if the Park Rangers need to assist a lost hiker or an injured mountain biker.

The projects that these three young men have constructed will greatly assist members of the public who visit the Buffumville Lake/Hodges Village Dams sites.  The team thanks them for their service and congratulates them on becoming Eagle Scouts.