ABOVE: Several Cub and Boy Scouts helped Eagle Scout candidate Joe O’Connor build a raised flower bed at Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Center. Submitted photo

Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital, located on the west side of Gardner, has a new amenity for their residents. Boy Scouts of America Troop 88, led by Joseph O’Connor, a Pioneer Ridge Middle School student has installed a raised planter bed thereby allowing residents in wheel chairs to enjoy the pleasures of gardening. The new feature is visible from U.S. Highway 56 as the patio it was built on faces the northeast.

One of the requirements for advancement to Eagle Scout is to plan, lead, and
execute a project of their choosing. It must fulfill a need and not be directly beneficial to the scout. There are several steps to obtain the necessary approval before proceeding with a project. O’Connor’s project has been in the planning for almost a year. The project execution consisted of 19 scouts, friends, and adults working for three hours. The planning and preparation totaled about 40 hours.

While O’Connor was considering options for his Eagle Scout project, Ryan Nelson, Cubmaster for Pack 3888, made him aware of the need at Meadowbrook. O’Connor met with Lynn McCurdy, Activities Director at Meadowbrook, Boy Scout representatives, and consulted with some of his teachers at PRMS.The idea was designed, written up, and the project was completed on June 15.

After the project was drafted, O’Connor’s next mission was to obtain the materials as inexpensively as possible. He contacted local merchants and through referrals was able to get the majority of the items donated. Materials were provided by CMI Lumber, Trailswest Hardware, Belgard Hardscapes/Old Castle stones, and Lowe’s Hardware.

Although the Eagle Scout rank is the highest a scout can attain, Joseph still has plenty of time to continue his scouting activities. He is one of six Troop 88 members who attended the National Jamboree this summer, held at Fort AP Hill in Virginia. It had over 50,000 participants. Boy Scouting and Troop 88 have provided many opportunities to O’Connor and his fellow scouts. High adventure activities along with a focus on the community have helped the troop continue its growth. More details about the Troop can be found at