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Scouting

April 08, 2007

Andrew J. "Andy" Hammond, an 18-year old Eagle Scout from Boy Scout Troop 33 in Shepherdstown, W.Va., recently constructed the new White Oak Trail at Manidokan Outdoor Ministries Center, to satisfy one of the major requirements for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.

The White Oak Trail now serves as the major access route to the new, remote White Oak Campsite at Manidokan - an outdoor ministries center located in southern Washington County which is owned and operated year-round by the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Hammond planned, designed, acquired the funding, built and marked the White Oak (green) Trail. His project included construction of about 0.52 miles of new trail, and marking an additional 0.85 miles of trail that is common to three other trails in the extensive Manidokan hiking trail system - Woodview (Yellow) Trail, Fox Ridge (Red) Trail, and Deer (Blue) Trail.

Hammond constructed the new backpacking trail along an uphill route, with approximately 120 feet of elevation change. In the process of constructing the 0.52 miles of new trail, he had to plan and construct a new footbridge - wide enough and strong enough to accommodate use by the camp's ATV trail utility vehicle. Over approximately six months, he held five major workdays to carryout the project, which included organizing, supervising and managing the trail construction project. He completed the entire project in October 2006.

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"This new trail leading to the remote campsite adds a new dynamic to the ten miles of already existing trails at the camp," said the Rev. Bill Herche, camp director at Manidokan.

Hammond, the son of Debbie Hammond and the late Dan Hammond of Shepherdstown, is a senior at Jefferson High School. He passed the Shenandoah Area Council's Eagle Scout Board of Review on Jan. 16, the final requirement for earning the rank of Eagle Scout.

As a member of Boy Scout Troop 33, sponsored by New Street United Methodist Church, in Shepherdstown, Hammond has served as a patrol leader and as Troop Guide. Over his 11 years of Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting, he has earned two religious awards - God and Family, and God and Church - has earned the World Conservation Award, and is a Brotherhood Member of the Order of the Arrow - Scouting's camping and service honorary.

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