Boy Scout Adds Recreation Area To American Legion Post

Sarah DiMeo
October 22, 2018 - 1:17 pm

File Photo. Photo 100027994 © Susanne Neal - Dreamstime.com

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BERLIN, Conn. (AP) — A member of Boy Scout Troop 44 in Berlin has completed an Eagle Scout project, looking to help veterans and honor the memory of his father.

Matthew A. Krajewski, 16, built a recreation area at American Legion Post 68, including with two bocce courts, two horseshoe pits, two park benches, six picnic tables and a basketball hoop.

A dedication ceremony was held on Oct. 6, during which Matthew Krajewski dedicated the project to his father, Army Lt. Col. Richard J. Krajewski, who served from 1977 to 2011 and died in 2012.

"I saw an opportunity here at American Legion Post 68 to build a recreation area so that our local veterans would have a place for camaraderie and outdoor activities," said Krajewski in his dedication speech.

Krajewski said he read about the effects of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder on veterans and that being outdoors can alleviate those symptoms.

"So, if this Eagle project can bring some joy, some relief, a brief moment of respite to the veterans of Post 68, then I have done what I set out to do," Krajewski said.

The project took over three months and almost 400 hours to build, said Kathleen Krajewski, Matthew's mother. It cost approximately $3,000. Materials for the project included donations from Tilcon, 84 Lumber, Ro-Brand and Sherwin-Williams, she added.

It was completed with the help of other Scouts, friends and family, including John Beach, who Matthew Krajewski said supported him and helped him develop his leadership skills and fulfill the promise he had made to Matthew Krajewski's father — that promise being to help Matthew complete the project and achieve the Eagle Scout rank, said Kathleen Krajewski.

"I could not have done it without the guidance of my father's best friend and my mentor, Mr. John Beach," said Matthew Krajewski. "Mr. Beach stepped up and pushed me when I needed pushing."

Beach is a Scout leader for Troop 256.

Matthew Krajewski is a junior at Connecticut River Academy. He also is dual-enrolled at Goodwin College in East Hartford and taking first-year general education college courses. He is on track to graduate with 34 college credits, Kathleen Krajewski said.