INDIANAPOLIS –A teenager used his Eagle Scout service project to lead a team to build a bridge for Jameson Camp in Indianapolis.
It took him a few years to complete because of delays caused by the pandemic.
Jameson Camp is a nonprofit organization that empowers youth by removing barriers to experiences in nature.
The new bridge connects two major parts of the park that are separated by a creek.
Xavier Ntamere says he wants the bridge to serve as a message to the community that people can do other projects like this.
“I want this project to be the catalyst that inspires other people to give back to their community regardless of what that community necessarily is,” said Xavier who is with Eagle Scout Troop 534.
The Rites of Passage Bridge is 40 feet across.
Xavier raised more than $11,000 to build it and logged 766 service hours to get it done.
He wants to be an engineer one day and says this project really helped him learn skills toward that goal.
“All of the skills I have learned, I need to be giving those skills to other people, so they can pass those skills along to other people. That’s how I pay it forward and give back to my community by inspiring other people to do the same thing.”
The teen says it taught him skills like managing finances for a massive project, also being a leader and communicating with so many different people to get it done.
Xavier named it the Rites of Passage Bridge so it would serve as a metaphor.
“It represents not only my Rights of Passage in my life and through Boy Scouts and becoming an Eagle Scout. Also, the Rights of Passage of many youth specifically African Americans who were deprived of that opportunity due to police brutality and other acts of violence.”
Xavier was also recently honored at the Governor’s Luncheon for Scouting Youth where he got to speak about his project.