Eagle Scout sign

Boy Scout Jesse Speck, right, built this sign at the entrance of Cowan City Park, assisted by Eagle Scout Blake Baker, left. Speck did the project as his right of passage into the Eagle Scout ranks.

Jesse Speck wanted to achieve two objectives with one project, and building a sign to properly display Cowan City Park’s entrance seemed like the ideal ticket.

The soon-to-be 18-year-old Franklin County High School senior is a member of Boy Scout Troop 184, led by Mike Holmes, and he wanted to achieve the coveted grade of becoming an Eagle Scout.

He earned Eagle Scout status by going the distance to build the landscaped sign that has become way more than just a sign because it also signifies a sense of community pride and togetherness.

Speck, the son of Jim and Brandi Speck, said becoming an Eagle Scout is a significant milestone and getting there proved to be a learning experience that was well worth his time because of what he learned along the way.

“I just wanted to help the community,” he said. “We’ve got a new park, and it needed a sign.”

Speck explained that he enlisted the help of fellow Eagle Scout Blake Baker, who happens to be his best friend.

Baker said that part of earning the right to become an Eagle Scout involves working with others in a set project that benefits many citizens.

He explained his friend’s objective in building the sign.

“He was just trying to do his part to give back to his community, and I was glad to help him because he’s my best friend,” Baker said.

To say the least, the contribution is greatly appreciated by Cowan Mayor Joyce Brown.

“I feel it’s very important to get young people involved in their community,” she said. “This is great because we just got a grant, and it’s awesome that they wanted to get involved to help out.”

Brown explained that having the sign is like icing on the cake because it clearly gives Cowan City Park its identity.

Mrs. Speck was also quick to give accolades to her son for his effort on behalf of Cowan.

“I’m extremely proud of him,” she said, explaining that Jesse is one of the few to stick with the scouting program to achieve Eagle status.

Mrs. Speck said that youths tend to get more distracted in recent times and become involved in other activities that sway them away from scouting. She said she’s glad her son was able to remain with the program and gain from its many life-improving benefits.

Jesse said he’s learned a great deal from being a Scout — how to see projects through from beginning to end and learning more about a career he may pursue, auto mechanics.

Although he’s gained considerable experience at sign-building, it isn’t his first career choice. However, he said he wouldn’t rule out making more of them.

“I think I’d build more of them if I got the chance,” he said, explaining that he’s learned what a great hobby it could become.