"We are scouts and we care about the communities we live in," a poster read at Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park from Oct. 8-11, when the largest service project was held by the Greater Niagara Frontier Council, the Western New York Chapter of the Boy Scouts of America. It was called Legacy 11.

More than 800 Scouts from around Western New York took part in the project that had the Scouts giving back to their community.

"I just thought it was interesting ... to help the whole community because the park definitely needed some work," said Martin Pietrusewski, 14, of Orchard Park.

Chestnut Ridge was one of two parks that participated in this program. The other was Emery Park in the Town of Aurora.

Scouts of all ages came in on Friday night, pitched their tents and got up the next morning ready to work.

All different types of projects were done throughout the park.

"We were taking staples out of picnic tables in the park," said Sean Jones, 19, of Buffalo.

"I painted picnic tables and also pavilions," said Alex Stroud, 16, of Cheektowaga.

"I did some digging," 14-year-old Thomas Stroud of Cheektowaga said.

The council came up with the idea for Legacy 11 as a way to "start the second century of Scouting with a big show of how strong Scouting is in our community," said Scouting Executive Patrick Coviello.

Service projects are big part of the Boy Scouts. To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, Scouts must perform a major service project for others that must be approved by a board for eagle projects.

After doing volunteer work, many teens say it makes them feel good knowing they did something to help others. Teens don't have to be in any special organization to become volunteers in the community.

As for Legacy 11, a lot got done in those few days. The Scouts also seemed to have a lot of fun doing the work.

"It was really fun ... going to the park was really fun even though it was work," said Nolen Henderson, 12, of Orchard Park.


David Chriswell is a sophomore at Maryvale High School.