Eagle Scout gives church new landscaping to earn badge

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Chris Sokoloski/Times Chris Mermon of Pawleys Island, right, watches as his fellow Boy Scouts, from left, Aaron Clup, Riley Robino, Clay Register, and Will Edwards dig a trench to plant new landscaping at Socastee Original Freewill Baptist Church on Saturday morning. Mermon is replacing the landscaping as his Eagle Scout project.

As a member of St. Michael Catholic Church in Garden City, Chris Mermon wanted his Eagle Scout project to involve a church.

I just really wanted to help a church, because I belong to one, he said.

Mermon of Pawleys Island, who turns 13 this month, replaced a row of old, overgrown shrubbery at Socastee Original Freewill Baptist Church on Saturday morning.

Hes been planning this project for about a year. Eagle Scout projects require planning, fundraising and securing supplies before any work is done.

In February, Mermon and his band of volunteers tore out the existing shrubbery from the side of the church. Some of the bushes were so overgrown and intertwined that a pickup truck was used to pull them out.

We removed all the overgrown shrubbery and now were replacing them with new, modern shrubbery, Mermon said.

The crew returned on Saturday to plant new shrubs from True Blue Nursery in Pawleys Island.

After digging a trench along the side of the church, about three dozen shrubs went into the ground.

Mermon raised $4,000 in cash and $1,800 in donations for the project.

The Waccamaw Middle School student is one of a dozen Life Scouts in Troop 360, where his dad, Rich, is assistant Scoutmaster.

The younger Mermon has already earned 83 merit badges.

We really do push them to get badges, said Rich Mermon.

Helping Mermon with his Eagle Scout project was Riley Robino, who is also working on an Eagle Scout project.

Robino is placing 30 signs along the coast in Huntington Beach State Park to tell beach-goers to protect the dunes and sea turtle nests. The signs will be numbered so if there is an emergency, a caller can tell 911 where they are located.

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