Scout shifts gears to bike repair station

GARRETT CLARK, third from right, is presented a $500 donation for his Eagle Scout Project, which is a bike repair station for a trailhead at Town Square Community Center. Pictured around him are, from left are Sheila Pulice, Rich Grennan, Marge Bostelmann, Marge’s granddaughter Maggie, Mike Pulice, Tom Batty and Larry Gundrum.  Joe Schulz photo

by Joe Schulz

When Garrett Clark’s father dropped him off at his first Cub Scout meeting 10 years ago, Clark was kicking and screaming.

“I had no idea where we were going and I thought my dad was abandoning me to this pack of young kids,” Clark said.

After he realized what was going on, Clark calmed down and had fun at the meeting. By the end of the day, he decided to continue scouting. 

He moved to Green Lake in 2016, joining the Boy Scouts of Troop 630, where he remains an active member. Over the years, Scouting has helped instill Clark with values he may not have learned otherwise.

Garrett Clark’s Boy Scout uniform lies on a table, along with a binder full of blue cards that recorded his progress as a scout over the last 10 years. submitted photo

“Scouting has made me more mature than I would’ve been without it, and I think it helped turn me into who I am today,” he said.

Clark always looked up to older scouts and dreamed of one day becoming an Eagle Scout. This summer, however, those dreams are becoming reality, as he is nearing completion of his Eagle Scout project. 

In order to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, each scout must complete a project that will benefit the larger community for years to come.

For his project, Clark decided to raise money for a bike repair station that will be located at Town Square and will serve as the trailhead for Green Lake Greenways’ bike trail connecting Ripon and Green Lake. 

The repair station will feature tools connected to retractable cables; a wheel chock, which enables two bikes to be serviced at once; and an outdoor air pump. 

The station also is part of a larger trailhead that will feature a kiosk with bike trail maps and brochures, a bike rack and benches.

“My goal for this project is to promote local businesses and bring people outdoors,” Clark said.

Originally, Clark wanted to fund a canoe launch. After the initial planning phase, however, he decided to look at other options. Then, he got an idea while on vacation with his family in Ashland, Wis. 

“We saw this one bike repair station and I thought it’d be pretty cool to have one in Green Lake because biking is getting huge here,” Clark said.

He hopes the repair station benefits the community, as it will be free to use and will give those biking an opportunity to fill their tires up with air before hitting the trails. 

In March, after coming up with the idea, Clark went to Town Square and pitched the idea to Town Square Executive Director Larry Gundrum. 

At the time, Town Square was already in discussions with Green Lake Greenways about using the community center as the trailhead for Lauree’s Trail. 

“We really got the impetus for the project when Garrett [Clark] came to us with something concrete,” Gundrum said. “We thought that if he was going to do this, maybe it was time to look at the trailhead piece again.” 

After meeting with Gundrum, Clark launched a fund-raising page on Town Square’s website in June and placed flyers around town raising awareness for the project.

In mid-July, Clark finished fund-raising, and Town Square brought in a contractor over the weekend to lay the concrete foundation for the trailhead. The repair station itself is set to be installed in early August. 

For Clark, becoming an Eagle Scout is an honor, as only 4% of all scouts ever become Eagle Scouts. 

For those who become Eagle Scouts, they can enter the military at a higher rank, along with unique scholarship opportunities. 

In addition,  Troop 630 Scoutmaster Tom Batty noted Eagle Scouts rarely get passed over for jobs, as the rank shows a young man has work ethic, integrity and the resolve to follow through with a project.

“For a young man, achieving Eagle [Scout] shows that he has integrity and that’s something that’s really important to experience,” Batty said. “For Garrett to be able to pull in $2,500 to help supplement an organization that’s doing some pretty cool stuff, speaks volumes about what he’s doing.”

While Clark doesn’t know exactly what he wants to do after graduating high school, becoming an Eagle Scout will help him along the way no matter what he decides.

“One of the things I want to do is go a step further with my education, and possibly go into the military, and becoming an Eagle Scout can really help with those things,” Clark said. 

In the meantime, Clark is excited to bring a bike repair station to Green Lake. He hopes the station stays for generations to come. 

Someday when Clark has children, he wants to bring them to the repair station and tell them about the project.