Aug 09, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The village of Cazenovia now has a new handicapped-accessible fishing dock on the banks of Chittenango Creek behind the Cazenovia Public Library. The fresh, bright umber-colored wood is somewhat hidden within the tall grass on a little-used part of the village, and, like the dock itself, the story of its creation is bright and inspiring yet little-known — the community addition was the creation and work of a Cazenovia Eagle Scout candidate that took him two-and-a-half years to complete.
On a sunny Saturday two weeks ago, recent Cazenovia High School graduate David Martellock officially received his Eagle Scout rank in a ceremony on the boards of the dock he created, a dock that is now open for public enjoyment.
“It was fantastic, it was wonderful. That’s a feeling I wish on someone who hasn’t done that before,” Martellock said of his seeing his project completed. “Just to see in front of your eyes something you put on paper, designed on the computer, and see it finished; to see the reality of something you created with your mind and as much help as you can get is fantastic.”
Martellock, who leaves for his freshman year of college at the Rochester Institute of Technology in a few weeks, started in Troop 18 of the Cazenovia Boy Scouts when he was 11. To reach the highest achievable rank of Eagle Scout, typically at age 18, requires the completion of a leadership project that exemplifies the qualities of an Eagle Scout learned over the years with the troop.
He was assigned a project to build a dock on scout land, which “sounded like a relatively interesting and complex project,” he said. “My challenge was to build this dock, have it up and functional by the time I was 18.”
So Martellock, who will be a mechanical engineering and design major at RIT, set to work.
“My goal was to not lift a hammer but do entirely with leadership; but that didn’t happen. It was an awful large amount of work, a massive undertaking,” he said.
The project included not just the design and redesign of the dock, but also fundraising, sourcing and acquiring materials, surveying and clearing the land, organizing volunteer workers and supervising the work.
From a plot of land that was initially nothing but dead trees and underbrush, and with the assistance of his fellow Troop 18 scouts, his father who is an engineer and his scoutmaster and mentor George Schmit, Martellock completed his project early this summer. All of the funding and materials for the job he acquired from Cazenovia community members, including a $500 donation from the Cazenovia Rotary Club.
“We are very proud of David’s work as it was no easy task with many hours of hard labor,” said Anna Marie Neuland, treasurer of the Cazenovia Rotary Club.
“David is a talented young man; he’s got a great talent for design and it was just meticulously organized,” said Troop 18 Scoutmaster George Schmit. “These Eagle Scout projects are about a sense of community and responsibility and I think David epitomizes that. It’s been a pleasure to watch him grow.”
On July 21, Martellock received his Eagle Scout designation in a ceremony on the dock. “If you want to go fishing there, I highly recommend it. I’ve never seen anyone there,” he said. “Sometimes I like to go and just sit and have lunch there.”
Martellock, now 18, recently applied for and received his adult leadership designation in Troop 18, which means he is now an adult leader for the troop. Even though he will be away at college starting this fall, he intends to continue his participation in the troop as much as possible whenever he is home by providing supervision, teaching skills to younger scouts, helping plan troop treks and campouts and numerous other responsibilities.
“Scouting has been a fantastic experience and I think a lot more people should participate in it. Every second of scouting was worth it,” he said.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.