Callan Pugh/ News Scout AJ Griffin performs pullups at one of four fitness stations that he helped design and build for his Eagle Scout project

Callan Pugh/Mount Vernon News

Scout AJ Griffin performs pullups at one of four fitness stations that he helped design and build for his Eagle Scout project. All four stations are located in Centerburg on the Heart of Ohio Trail near Animal Station. Request this photo


CENTERBURG — Users of the Heart of Ohio trail now have even more options for physical fitness thanks to local scout, AJ Griffin.

Griffin helped design and build 4 exercise stations along the trail behind Animal Station in Centerburg for his Eagle Scout project. He explained that being physically strong is part of the Scout oath. Physical activity has also become a large part of Griffin’s life in the last few years and something that will continue to be important as he enters basic training for the Marine Corps in November.

“I just wanted to give something back to the community so that everyone here would have help [with being physically active],” Griffin said. “Building strength is paramount to any physical activity, because if you just build only strength or do only cardio, your body is just going to develop in a way and you’re going to leave out the other part of it that’s going to be really important.”

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Griffin chose the trail as the location for the fitness stations because it is something that the public already uses which is free and “does not require a gym membership.” The four stations also do not require any additional equipment.

The situp station, a decline bench, allows users to work out core muscles. Just down the trail sits the parallel bars that allow users to exercise their arm and core muscles. Next to the parallel bars is a pullup bar used to exercise arm and back muscles. The final station is a pushup bar, which, like the pullup bar exercises arm and back muscles.

Funds for the stations, just under $900, came from area businesses and previous fundraising done by Griffin and his troop, Boy Scout Troop 382. Area businesses also contributed to the project with discounted building materials, Griffin said. He worked closely with the trail committee to get permission and building permits for the project.

“For Eagle Scout projects, the Eagle Scout is supposed to help build it, and they’re also supposed to supervise it,” Griffin said. “So, I did most of the planning for them and every time that there was something going on here at any of the stations in construction, I was here helping them manage. Every little bit from clearing [the area] out to making the forms to putting them together was all done with my help.”

The stations were built over the course of two weeks from June 26 to July 8. The project is waiting for final approval from the board of review. Once the board approves the project, Griffin will officially receive his Eagle Scout rank. Griffin, a recent graduate of Centerburg, has been involved in scouting for the last 11 years, starting as a first-grader.

“Boy Scouts is just an amazing thing, not only for the individual involved in it — you get so many different skills and traits from it that are just insanely important, like leadership; the military values the Eagle rank so much they’ll give you an extra rank just by having it,” Griffin said, “and it benefits the community too, because every person that becomes an Eagle Scout has to do a service project just like this and it can range from anything to constructing a flagpole, making exercise equipment or hosting a blood drive. The community just benefits from it in so many different ways, and so everyone benefits from Boy Scouts.”


Callan Pugh: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews



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