Zach at the new picnic ground. Photo courtesy of J. “Brent” Cashin

Local Teen Builds New Picnic/Gathering Area at William S. Hart Park

By Steven Giacoletto, Santa Clarita Contributor John “Zach” Cashin, a member of the Boy Scout Troop 58 and a resident of Saugus, fundraised, coordinated and led the construction of a new gathering/picnic area at the William S. Hart Park.  Zach’s service to his community reached an extraordinary level as he spent hours working on his Eagle Scout service project.  The 17-year-old scout designed a fence that compliments the ranch theme, built two picnic tables, installed a sprinkler drip system and planted drought tolerant landscaping.  Whether it be with time or money, Zach was able to involve over 100 community members in this project.  He recorded 379 hours of volunteer time and over $4,000 in donations.  Funds not used on the construction of the project were donated to the park.  The new gathering area is located between the Trading Post and the Mansion trailhead.  The area is already scheduled to be used for the Cowboy festival this spring and is available for reservations through the park. A Court of Honor celebrating his achievement of the highest rank that Boy Scouts of America offers is planned for Sunday, April 29, at 4:30 p.m. at the St. Clare Parish Hall, all are invited to attend. Zach, of Saugus High School, achieved Arrow of Light in Cub Scouts and went on to Boy Scouts, where he earned 29 merit badges, the World Conservation Award, and the respected Parvuli Dei and Ad Altare Dei religious emblems. Throughout his years as a scout, Zach has taken on roles of leadership within his troop.  He carried the role of Patrol Leader for four terms, and he has served the troop as Assistant Senior Patrol leader two terms.  Zach is currently serving as the Troop Guide where he mentors the younger scouts and assists them with rank advancement.  In addition to serving the community through countless volunteer hours with the Boy Scout program, Zach has also been a valuable member of his church community where he has been an alter server and an usher. Currently a junior at Saugus High School, Zach has received recognition for earning a 4.0 GPA during the fall semester.  He has spent all three years participating in Project Lead the Way, an engineering program that focuses on various types of engineering, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.  He has also participated on the SHS cross country and track teams. Last summer, Zach became a graduate of Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama where he had the opportunity to participate with students from around the world in an astronaut training program.  This was a life changing program where Zach was given the opportunity to experience jet simulations, scenario-based space missions, zero gravity, water training and various types of rocket launch challenges. After completing high school, Zach plans to study political science and engineering with a focus in astronautical engineering at a University yet to be decided.    

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