Eagle Scout service projects at YMCA Camp Ockanickon

Jacob Delancy and Dan Smith helped beautify Camp Ockanickon as their service projects.

Jacob Delancy and some of his volunteers cleaned up Cherokee Beach at YMCA Camp Ockanickon.
Scout Dan Smith, pictured center right, and his group of volunteers worked at the water’s edge at Camp Ockanickon on a Saturday in early spring, building and installing benches for fire pits around the boys camp.

It truly takes a village — maybe even a hefty community — to prepare for the thousands of campers and visitors who come to YMCA Camp Ockanickon each year. Fortunately, the YMCA camp in Medford, home to summer camps Ockanickon for boys, Matollionequay for girls and Lake Stockwell Day Camp, has a legion of dedicated volunteers who step up when help is needed — and that includes local Eagle Scouts.

In May, Jacob Delancy of Medford, a Boy Scout with Troop 20, took on an ambitious Eagle Scout service project at Cherokee Beach, one of four beaches at the 800-acre camp. He and a host of volunteers (kids and adults; about 40 total) cleaned up debris from the winter, spread 25 tons of new sand near the swim and playground areas, built a canoe rack and constructed a “lost and found” display post.

“This project really helps the YMCA camp because it provides a much-needed cleanup to one of the few beaches,” Delancy said. “Cleaning up the beaches will lead to a better experience for kids who attend camp.”

Delancy even went the extra step and took an impressive before-and-after drone video of the beach restoration project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1FVbKHMPyw&feature=youtu.be.

Earlier in the spring, Dan Smith, 16, of Medford (a Scout with Troop 26) organized volunteers for his Eagle Scout service project. He and more than a dozen helpers built and installed benches for fire pits in three locations at the boys sleepaway camp. It was an impressive project, involving digging deep holes in which to set the posts for the benches.

Both of the Scouts had to plan, organize, fundraise for and then oversee their respective service projects.

YMCA Camp Ockanickon, located at 1303 Stokes Road in Medford, has been in continuous operation since 1906. In addition to summer camp, the nonprofit organization offers family programs, annual memberships, before- and after-school childcare, class trips, birthday parties and retreats.

For more information, go to www.ycamp.org or call (609) 654–8225.