Recently, a group of Scouts (including male and female youths) gathered to plan, build, and install three rocket-style bat boxes at ODWC’s Arcadia Conservation Education Area. The boxes will offer Oklahoma’s only flying mammals a place to roost.
Scout Emerson Wyrick, 16, from Troop 79 in Edmond led the project, which was his capstone for earning the Eagle Scout rank within Scouts BSA.
To advance in rank, Scouts are required to complete conservation and community service projects, and to demonstrate ability to lead adults and youths alike in a service project that gives back to the community.
Wyrick wanted his project to be conservation-related, so he asked Scoutmaster Darrin Hill, a producer for the Wildlife Department’s “Outdoor Oklahoma” TV show, to serve as his project adviser.
Wildlife Biologists Mark Howery and Melynda Hickman advised Wyrick and recommended bat boxes be installed at the Arcadia location. They offered Wyrick some ideas and information where to get the bat box plans.
Hill said projects such as this help instill in youths the habit of helping others and improving the environment.
“My favorite thing to see was the Scouts working together to upright and install the bat boxes. They had guy lines and plenty of communication as they lifted the poles to be placed in their resting places. It reminded me of … the famous picture of the U.S. Marines installing the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima.
“Conservation and Scouting go hand in hand and historically have benefited from each other. And both movements are as diverse as ever and continue to move forward while learning from the past.”