Troop 223 Boy Scout Effort to Repair Termite-Infested Trail Handrail

Ari Candela leads community service effort on a Beverly Hills hiking path

By Keemia Zhang

Last month, Ari Candela, patrol leader of Boy Scout Troop 223, led a community service effort, dubbed a “good turn” trip as part of a Scouts program designed to encourage patrols to give back to their community. For the project, Candela chose Tree People, an environmental advocacy group that encourages the preservation of ecosystems across the Los Angeles area. 

He previously visited the organization several years prior, where he was given a seed that grew into a pine tree in his backyard. Inspired by this and his love of nature, Candela led his Palisades-based troop to fix a termite-infested handrail on a Beverly Hills hiking path, permitting visitors to enjoy the space. I spoke with Candela to hear about his work with the Scouts and community service.

Keemia Zhang: So Ari, tell me about how you became a Boy Scout.

Ari Candel: So originally my friends wanted me to become a Boy Scout and then – like so basically, before you actually join Scouts, you can go on like a campout to experience and see what you’re getting yourself into, and I enjoyed the campout so I just decided to commit.

KZ: That’s really cool. Do you have anything you enjoyed most about it?

AC: Just being able to meet a lot of people from different schools and just having different camping experience. And one thing specifically was for this past year for high-venture – basically when the older scouts go on like a trip, half of the trip went to Denmark for the Scout Jamboree.

KZ: Awesome. So for your good turn trip, do you wanna tell me more about why you chose the environment for your topic?

AC: I enjoy just being in nature, I go hiking with my parents a lot and we always enjoyed that, so it’s like trying to get back to that and give back to Mother Nature.

KZ: For your actual good turn trip, can you tell me about what you saw and did that day?

AC: We saw a lot of people hiking but basically there was this handrail that another Scout troop had made during an Eagle project. There was bark on the handrail, and termites were biting and destroying it so we removed the bark to get rid of the termites.

KZ: Did you have a favorite and least favorite part of the day?

AC: Least favorite is that it was a bit hot, favorite is just to give back to my community and do community service. My memory is just being able to help other people because now the handrail will be able to stay up for a longer amount of time and other people will just keep it in good shape.

KZ: Do you plan on doing more things like this when you’re an Eagle Scout?

AC: When I’m an Eagle Scout I will have to do a project where I create something for a nonprofit organization and it’s mandatory to get a specific amount of hours working on it.

KZ: And how does giving back to your community make you feel?

AC: It makes me feel happy because it’s just nice to give back to your community whenever you can, and there are lots of nice people who do nice things for each other.

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