A Hall High School junior’s Eagle Scout project benefits West Hartford Little League.
By Jeff Cianflone
Bennett Johnson, a junior at Hall High School, has been involved in Boy Scouts since he was in sixth grade, and when it came time this year to embark on his Eagle Scout Service Project, he decided to give back to an organization that gave so much to him – West Hartford Little League.
Over the past six months, Bennett planned, developed, and helped build a multi-player hitting station at the WHLL baseball complex. Bennett’s project will allow four batters at once to take batting practice off tees.
Bennett describes his experience in West Hartford Little League as “awesome.” In fact, Bennett says that he met “many of [his] high school friends through little league.” Although he was not initially interested when his father signed him up at age 4 for tee ball, Bennett grew to love the game. He remained in Little League through his 12-year-old season, and though he no longer plays, he hopes to resume playing in a recreational baseball league in college.
Back in the spring, Bennett reached out to his cross country coach, Mike Lage, who also serves (along with Mike Stockman) as WHLL’s field director. Hoping to give back to West Hartford Little League, Bennett worked with the two Mikes to develop an idea and a plan.
During the spring and early summer months, Bennett underwent a lengthy approval process, which involved research and design, followed by a presentation to and approval from local and national Eagle Scout review boards. Bennett received some funding for the project through the Eagle Scouts and West Hartford Little League, but also raised some funds himself.
By the end of summer, Bennett had fine-tuned and adjusted his vision, switching from permanent concrete footings to more versatile and mobile structural bracings, and had organized and led a team of more than 10 peers and adults to turn his plans into reality. The completed hitting station – which weighs over 1,000 pounds and uses 300-plus feet of lumber – now stands ready at the Little League complex for the next generation of West Hartford Little Leaguers to enjoy, all thanks to the efforts of a Little League alumnus.
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