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Scout designing town signs to earn Eagle rank
BOY SCOUT — Eighth-grader Zane Dustin, a local Life Scout, is working toward becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouts.
HEBRON — Life Scout Zane Dustin, 13, of Troop 130 is in the process of becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest rank achievable in the Boy Scout program.
But first, he says, he has a whole list of requirements to fulfill, including earning all 21 of his merit badges and demonstrating he lives by the Scout Oath and Law in his daily life.
He also has to be active in his troop for at least six months, he says.
Dustin earned his Life rank in July – in February, he is eligible to be an Eagle, he says. Dustin is currently serving his troop as an assistant senior patrol leader and is training to be a senior patrol leader next year.
In order to become an Eagle, aside from earning badges, he also has to plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to the community.
According to Dustin, he has been working with other local students to design "Welcome to Hebron" signs, which he hopes will be posted at the Hebron town lines on Routes 124 and 119.
"I met with [Selectman] Dan Eichorn a year ago for a different merit badge and he mentioned how the town doesn't have signs and suggested I do it as a Scout project," said Dustin. "I decide it was a good project."
After coming up with a plan, he presented it to selectmen at a board meeting in August, but the project was put on hold pending approval from the Boy Scout Committee.
Two weeks ago he announced his project proposal has been approved.
Town needs signs
Selectmen said in the past they considered posting Welcome to Hebron signs but held off on doing it because they did not particularly like the signs that were made.
Welcome to Hebron signs have been a topic of discussion for about six years – the signs selectmen rejected last year were made by the children of Hebron's D.E.P.O.T. program because they did not meet the town's standards, selectmen said.
Selectmen agreed they did not like the design or slogan – Welcome to Hebron, a place of refuge – on the signs and decided to table the project until another opportunity arose.
"I think it's a great idea to have Welcome to Hebron signs," Selectman Jim Reid told Dustin in August. "It's just in the past, some people went ahead and built signs before we approved it."
In August, selectmen said they would fully support Dustin's project as long as it met town and state requirements.
Dustin says he is in the process of contacting the Maine Department of Transportation to learn what is required of him for the signs, as far as placement, dimensions and materials.
Selectmen also suggested Dustin contact the landowners for permission to put up the signs. Upon landowner approval, selectmen said they would then review the designs Dustin has drawn up before having them made.
Dustin said his idea was to have fourth, fifth and sixth graders design the signs that will be red and white and say "Welcome to Hebron, established in 1792."
Dustin was instructed by selectmen to not make the signs too fancy and to focus more on the designs rather than coming up with a slogan.
So far, Dustin said he has gotten most of the designs back from students and is really pleased with how they turned out.
"A lot of them are actually pretty good," he said.
On his own
Aside from the designs, Dustin is doing the project almost entirely on his own. He is even coming up with the budget and is planning on doing his own fund raising to cover it.
According to Dustin, to print the four signs is estimated to cost between $850 and $1,000. He said he is still unclear as to what it will cost for the other materials.
"I will probably go to friends and family first and send out letters to businesses to get donations and possibly do a bottle drive," he said.
He is also working on speaking with landowners and selecting the sites for the signs, he says.
"I know in general where they will be placed, but need to speak with landowners and if they say I can't put them there I will go onto the next spot."
Dustin said he finds the project to be somewhat challenging.
"What I've learned so far is the extent I need to go to do things like this, and to be thorough, precise and accurate and nail it down the first time and not mess up," says Dustin. "And the general politics that come into play like trying to please everyone," he adds.
Dustin says his main concern is getting the signs in the ground before it freezes but with the work he has left to do, it may not happen until spring.
"They will go up as soon as the ground thaws," he said.