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Campsite creations: Boy Scout Troop 63 recently added picnic tables and fire pits to South Rockdale Community Park as part of an Eagle Scout project. (Center, blue shirt) Project leader Casey Yeomans (Not pictured: Phillip Stripling) - photo by Michelle Kim

The South Rockdale Community Park and its new campsites received some additional amenities thanks to the sweat and effort of local Boy Scout Troop 63.

Two Boy Scouts in particular spearheaded two park facility projects as part of their Scout requirements to earn their rank of Eagle Scout.

Philip Stripling, 17, who has been a Boy Scout since 2003, was project leader for a construction project at the park back in August to build fire pits for the campsite areas. Fire pits are ring-shaped sand and rock pits dug into the ground used to safely contain fire.

"The park wanted fire rings, so, I got a group of boys together to help." Stripling said. "You have to do a leadership service project to get Eagle Scout."

Stripling first learned about the park from his scoutmaster's wife, who noticed a flyer at Johnson Park advertising a variety of work projects that the park needed.

More recently, on Tuesday, Sept. 21, the scouts came together for a second project to construct and install picnic tables at each covered shelter area in the park.

Casey Yeomans, a Boy Scout since 2006, led this recent project after working on the previous South Rockdale Community Park project with Stripling. Stripling was not involved with the picnic table project.

"My part in the project was to find, purchase, assemble, and place the picnic tables next to each shelter with the aid of my troop," Yeomans said. "I started this project because Phillip Stripling told me that there were some projects that needed to be done at South Rockdale."

The campsites will be open for use to the public by Oct. 15. A $7,000 grant from Home Depot covered the costs of construction for three Adirondack shelters, three fire rings, three picnic tables. Volunteers helped build the shelters and groups such as the Boyz II Men of Honor helped clear trails.

For in-county residents, the shelters will cost $12 per day to use and $20 per weekend. For out-of-county residents, the cost is $20 per day and $30 per weekend. For reserving both the shelter and pavilion, the cost for county residents is $80 per day and $100 per weekend and for out-of-county residents, $110 per day and $150 per weekend.

The South Rockdale Community Park, located at 3909 East Fairview Road, is a 176 acre park that includes covered pavilions, restrooms, picnic tables and grills and a walking trail. For more information or to reserve a site, call (770) 278-7529.