SOUTH HEIDELBERG TWP., Pa. - A local scout just wrapped up a two-year-long Eagle Scout project to give back to disabled veterans.
"I wanted to do something kind of big, that would be here for a long time, that I could come back and see," said Alex Stokrp, a Life Scout in Troop 4318.
Stokrp decided to build a fishing pier for disabled veterans at a rod and gun club in South Heidelberg Township.
"In the very beginning, I didn't really know what I was getting into," said Stokrp. "A lot of people told me that it was going to be a complicated project."
The first steps were planning and fundraising.
"He spent a year putting the money together," said Troop 4318 Scout Master Mike Marti, "gathering some contributions, some materials, some financial, doing a lot of work. Sixty-percent of this project is money that he's earned himself."
Along the way, various professionals contributed expertise and materials toward his goal and many volunteers got on board, with Alex acting as project manager.
He also did a lot of research. Stokrp consulted with Chris Kaag and his brother, Eric, from the I M ABLE Foundation on how to make sure every detail was just right for people in wheelchairs or who had different levels of ability.
Stokrp and Marti even took a trip to Alabama to get some black locust wood for the project because it was the best material and is not native to the area.
"It was tough to do because I play two sports," said Stokrp. "I play football and lacrosse, and with school and coronavirus, there were tons of setbacks."
In the end, it paid off.
"We had high expectations for the project, and it turned out great," said Stokrp. "I'm glad that it turned out like this."
"There's something different for the kid that's willing to take a step off and actually go through it, because they know it's a lot of work," said Marti. "It's something special, and you don't see that all the time."