ORLAND PARK, IL — Jack McDonnell has all the time been infatuated with historical past. So in terms of pursuing the best honor that the Boy Scouts of America arms out, it solely is smart that the Orland Park teenager would mix his ardour for issues previous and scouting.
McDonnell, a freshman at Lincoln-Means East Excessive Faculty, is setting out not solely to earn the celebrated Eagle Scout award however is doing so by paying honor to the Boy Scouts that went earlier than him. McDonnell is hoping to lift practically $2,000 that may go towards refurbishing a historic marker that was put into place by the Boy Scouts practically 100 years in the past alongside Route 30, which is thought extra generally as Lincoln Freeway.
In 1928, Boy Scouts of America got down to place 3,000 mile markers alongside Lincoln Freeway, which stretches 3,389 miles from New York Metropolis to San Francisco. The challenge was deemed a security initiative by the Boy Scouts as a part of a challenge that made nationwide information on the time with a narrative showing within the New York Instances.
The markers have been put into place by the Boy Scouts after the freeway had not but been paved in 1925 when state officers throughout the nation got here up with a brand new freeway numbering system. The numbering system made the 1913 freeway markings out of date, including to the historic significance of the Boy Scout challenge.
The New Lenox marker is one of some that stay intact that pays homage to the efforts of cross-country highways earlier than the nation’s interstate system of vehicle transportation started within the Fifties.
The mile marker that McDonnell is specializing in sits on the property of Lincoln-Means Central Excessive Faculty and features a gazebo that was constructed by Will County officers in 2015 to assist acknowledge the efforts of the Boy Scouts so a few years in the past. McDonnell mentioned that he first observed the marker whereas at water polo observe on the college and knew instantly he wished to know extra.
McDonnell, who’s a member of Boy Scout Troop 318 in Orland Park, first joined the Cub Scouts within the sixth grade and has slowly risen by means of the ranks ever since. The very fact he can now work towards the most important honor the Boy Scouts hand out whereas constructing on the historical past that the scouts added to his local people practically a century in the past brings much more significance to his pursuits.
“The truth that Boy Scouts from throughout the nation put the markers in exhibits the teamwork from every scout troop,” McDonnell instructed Patch. “In order that’s what has actually impressed me to attempt to assist renovate this (area).”
McDonnell admits he didn’t actually know a lot about Lincoln Freeway earlier than getting down to beautify the marker that sits on the Lincoln-Means Central property. Analysis taught him Route 30 was the primary transcontinental freeway in the US and was constructed in 1913. Whereas the marker positioned by the Boy Scouts in 1928 stays in first rate form, the world has turn into overgrown and the gazebo that was inbuilt 2015 has fallen into disrepair.
Between the chipping paint and the bushes and shrubs which might be a part of the marker are dying and in want of alternative. Moss has began to develop over the marker itself and the paint has began to fade, McDonnell mentioned. As a part of his Eagle Scout challenge, McDonnell is elevating funds that may go towards power-washing and repainting the gazebo in addition to planting new tall grasses and shrubs that may enhance the world that honors the efforts of the Boy Scouts.
McDonnell mentioned he has met with Lincoln-Means Central college officers who he mentioned believed that the marker was on Will County property slightly than on the varsity grounds. He has additionally met with members of the Will County Historic Preservation Committee, who have been those who indicated that the marker was really a part of the varsity property. His challenge has been permitted by the varsity district and the Boy Scouts, giving McDonnell the inexperienced mild to maneuver forward along with his efforts to enhance the world.
McDonnell has recruited members of his Boy Scout troop in addition to members of his ROTC class at Lincoln-Means East to start work on the world as soon as funds have been raised. McDonnell will host a fundraising dinner at Gatto’s Italian Restaurant (within the Atrium) at 1938 E Lincoln Freeway in New Lenox on February eleventh.
The fundraising dinner will run between 5-10 p.m. and features a full buffet. Tickets shall be offered prematurely or on the door for $35 per individual and $10 for kids underneath age 10. Donations will also be made by means of Venmo at @Jack-McDonnell-26. Work on the positioning is scheduled to start with the primary of two work dates in late April.
For McDonnell, the glory of attaining Eagle Scout is critical as he means he has developed management abilities whereas additionally transferring by means of the scouting path. The truth that the glory additionally encompasses recognizing the work put in by Scouts earlier than him, nevertheless, solely provides to the work he’ll put in over the subsequent few months as he hopes to deliver much more consideration to the historic marker and those that have been a part of the unique security challenge.
“I’m making an attempt to honor the Boy Scouts of 1928 and making an attempt to maintain what they made as clear and as prestigious because it was when the (marker) was first put into place,” McDonnell instructed Patch.
“I hope (the work) will make the gazebo extra noticeable from the highway and I’d hope that individuals would come to study the historical past of the highway that they’re driving on. I’m actually massive into historical past and I would like individuals to have the ability to perceive that (historical past) and why the Boy Scouts planted the marker and to see the historical past of Boy Scouts and Route 30.”