Written by Sheila Grant on Friday, 23 October 2009 - DEXTER - Kasee Wilson, 17, of Dexter, is working extra hard this month. The high school senior and athlete, who also holds a part-time job, is working to become an Eagle Scout. The Eagle Scout rank is the highest offered by the Boy Scouts of America. Last year, only about five percent of Boy Scouts achieved Eagle Scout rank. To reach this rank, a Boy Scout must first achieve the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star and Life. He must also have earned 21 merit badges. A scout must also have served six months in a troop leadership position, taken part in a Scoutmaster conference, successfully completed an Eagle Scout board of review, and planned, developed and provided leadership to a service project for a religious community or a school.
Wilson’s final task, which must be completed before his 18th birthday in November, is to build a new judge’s shelter and viewing stand for the North Country Riding Club at the Bud Ellms Field in Dexter.
“I’ve been in Boy Scouts since Kindergarten,” Wilson said. “I hung out with my brother when he was in Boy Scouts before I was in school, so I’ve been in the Boy Scouts my whole life, it seems like.”
In fact, Wilson is following in the footsteps of older brother Kyle Wilson, 24, who built the covered bridge at Wayside Park in Dexter as his Eagle Scout project several years ago. Scouting has been a family affair with the Wilsons, as has involvement with the NCRC.
“I used to ride,” Kasee Wilson said. “Now my sister and my mom do. I rode for about a year, and showed a couple of times.”
Wilson spent six months, in between football, work and school, planning and designing the new NCRC building. The project then had to go before the Eagle Scout board for approval.
He is allowed to solicit materials for the project, but not cash. The NCRC is trying to raise cash for the project and will pay for whatever materials are not donated.
“I’m building a covered building for the horse shows and a judging booth attached to it,” Wilson said. “The judge’s booth now is a trailer on cement blocks. It’s old and the blocks keep moving every year. And the new building will be more in the middle instead of off to the side, so it will be better for the judges.”
The new building will cost about $6,000.
“I’ll raise what I can and the NCRC will have to cover pretty much everything else,” he said.
“Kasee came to present his proposal to build this as an Eagle Scout project,” said Judy Craig, NCRC’s show secretary and media correspondent. “We took the plans that an engineer had come up with and modified them to what we thought we would like, then this spring we went up to the riding ring to figure out the location. We did measurements. He took those plans back and was getting them redone and approved.”
The old construction trailer has seen better days, Craig said.
“The floor is bouncy,” she said. “As show secretary and announcer, I can only see a little over half the ring without leaning out the window. The new building will be across the other side of the ring, with full visibility of the riding arena.”
There will be office space, and the open viewing area will be covered so the audience has shade and shelter. Judges will also have an area with full visibility and protection from the elements.
“For some classes, the judge can’t be in the ring, so it will be good for the judge and ringmaster to be able to step aside,” Craig said. The need for better accommodations reflects the growth of the club, she noted. “Our club has grown and grown because there’s such an interest in horses now. Our largest show last year was 70 registered riders. They come from Calais, Skowhegan, Charleston – we have as many out of town people as we do Dexter people. It is a regional riding club.
“Donations are very important, whether it’s materials or money,” Craig said. “Kasee cannot go out asking for money. Dana Wilbur already donated gravel for the pad. Steve Wilbur donated trucking for the gravel.”
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