OSGOOD — Kurt Meiring from Osgood was recently awarded Eagle Scout Rank. He is a member of Maria Stein Boy Scout Troop # 97. As the highest rank conferred by the Boy Scouts USA, Eagle Scouts must acquire 21 merit badges and fulfill a special project, requiring months of planning, and which must be completed before the 18th birthday. Of the 2.2 million Boy Scouts in the US today, approximately 6 percent will achieve this special recognition each year.
Meiring decided to do his Eagle Scout project to benefit the Osgood Community Park. As the Eagle project is supposed to fill a need in a community, Meiring noticed that families were dragging a picnic table by the playground area when their children were on the equipment, in order to sit and to attend to a younger sibling. When the shelter houses were rented, they would drag the picnic tables back and forth. Meiring decided to put benches around the playground, and worked with the Darke County Solid Waste Management to attain benches made of all plastic caps and lids that would normally be disposed in a landfill.
After collecting the plastics, Meiring checked every cap and lid to make sure it was clean, paperless and on the acceptable list. Collecting over 800 pounds over a span of nine months, he delivered the materials to the Darke County Solid Waste to be made into four six-foot park benches to be placed around the playground equipment in the park. Each bench is made from 200 pounds of plastics at a cost $250 to fabricate, and will be maintenance-free for 50 years.
In 2019, the Darke County Solid Waste made a trip to Evansville, Ind., to Green Tree Plastics, taking two semi loads of plastic caps and lids. Once the benches were manufactured, they had to go to the Darke County Fair to be used during fair week. Eventually, the benches were delivered to Osgood. Meiring dug the holes, made forms, and poured stone and concrete for the 4-foot by 7-foot slabs. He waited until summer of 2020 to attach the benches and replant the grass.
In addition to the collection and labor, Meiring also needed to raise over $1,300 for the project to help fund the benches and materials. He worked with his family members and other Boy Scouts at weddings, doing task such as cutting cake, serving wedding tables, washing dishes, and cleaning off tables, as well as accepting donations from local businesses to finish his project.