Eagle Scout project provides Oakfield-Alabama with outdoor classroom
When John Igoe Jr. needed a project for his Eagle Scout Badge, he knew exactly what he wanted to do.
John Jr. had struggled in the classroom during his early years, his mom Debbie Igoe said. And he wanted to do something for his school.
John Jr. and his family had visited relatives in Poughkeepsie, where they saw an outdoor classroom. John Jr. thought it would be great to build one at Oakfield-Alabama Central School, which might benefit other kids who had trouble focusing in a regular classroom environment.
John Jr. discussed it with school Superintendent Mark Alexander, who also thought it was a great idea, and then the Scout presented it to the school board, which gave its approval.
John Jr. comes from a long line of Scouts. His dad is an Eagle Scout, as are two of his uncles, Andrew Igoe, of Poughkeepsie and Matt Igoe, of Lake Katrine. His grandfather James Igoe Jr., of Poughkeepsie, was a Scoutmaster for 35 years.
John Jr. is a member of Troop 6066 at Indian Falls United Methodist Church. His Scoutmaster is Laverne Lamkin and Assistant Scoutmaster is Scott Allen. John Jr. started his Eagle Scout project almost two years ago. He got support from the entire community, as well as help from family and a lot of friends, he said.
Ray Smith, of Oakfield, provided equipment to clear land near the school’s nature trail; Aron Kehlenbeck, who owns a portable sawmill, sawed the trees; Seaman’s Hardware donated hardware; Shuknecht’s donated metal brackets, and posts were donated by Home Depot and Genesee Lumber.
John Jr. said he wanted to join Scouts because it was his family’s heritage, but he also wanted to do it for himself.
“A lot of people helped me and kept me in,” he said. “I was in a very active troop, which had an outing almost every month. They became like family to me.”
John Jr.’s mother presented her son’s Eagle Award, after which Andrew gave the Eagle Charge and Matt gave the Eagle Pledge.
The Scout then gave his parents a gift to honor them for helping him get where he is today. He also recognized Scott Allen for being his mentor.
Special speakers included Assemblyman Steve Hawley, John Hilchey and Jason Armbrewster.
John Jr. plans to attend New York's Clarkson University after graduation to study Mechanical Engineering.
Top photo: John Igoe Jr., of Oakfield, poses with his family prior to receiving his Eagle Scout Badge Saturday at Oakfield-Alabama Central School for constructing an outdoor classroom. From left are his uncle James Igoe, of Beacon, dad John Igoe, of Oakfield, John Jr., uncles Andrew Igoe, of Poughkeepsie, and Matt Igoe, of Lake Katrine, (both Eagle Scouts); and grandfather James Igoe Jr., of Poughkeepsie.
Above, John Igoe Jr., left, his father John Igoe, and Assistant Scoutmaster Scott Allen prepare for John Jr.’s Eagle Scout ceremony Saturday in the outdoor classroom he built on Oakfield-Alabama Central School’s nature trail.
Above,John Igoe Jr., center, poses with his parents John and Debbie Igoe, of Oakfield, prior to a ceremony Saturday in which he received his Eagle Scout Badge. John’s father and two uncles are also Eagle Scouts.