Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Religion Editor
Thursday, 17 October 2013 08:58
NORTH BALTIMORE - Earning the rank of Eagle Scout is not easy. The goal is for the Scout's project to challenge him and to benefit the community.
|Cody Switzer is seen on in a rock garden near a prayer labyrinth he built for the Church of the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in North Baltimore, Ohio on October 9, 2013. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
For Cody Switzer, who received his Eagle Scout badge on Oct. 6, his prayer labyrinth easily filled both of those requirements.
Rev. Susan Kronbach, pastor of Church of the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in North Baltimore, said, "We are so pleased to be the beneficiaries of Cody Switzer's Eagle Scout project."
In addition to his badge ceremony, the labyrinth was also blessed that day.
Kronbach noted the prayer labyrinth and rock garden "provides such a peaceful, reflective space for us, and for the whole community."
Though the actual work of installing the labyrinth was completed in roughly a week, Switzer's efforts went far beyond as he designed and planned the garden, raised the money and recruited additional volunteers to do the work.
"I put in about 24 hours within that week," Switzer said of the installation.
With all the other volunteers he said about 201 man hours were involved in the project.
Switzer and his family attend the church and was pleased to do something for the members.
The Sunday after the project was completed he said many of the congregation were surprised by its sudden appearance.
"They didn't know in advance and it just showed up in a week," he said. "People were confused as to what it was."
To assist those folks and others, a mailbox by the labyrinth includes a paper detailing the site and directions for its use.
Part of those directions indicate people are invited to "some quiet time with nature and God."
It further states, "The prayer labyrinth is an invitation to walk with God in an ancient practice of 'walking prayer.' It is not a maze - there are no dead ends."
The labyrinth walk leads to the center where visitors are urged to pause and reflect before following the path back to the opening of the prayer garden.
Switzer's mother, Doreen Switzer, said her son first met with his Scoutmaster, then with Kronback in November. He then worked with an engineer and drew up the plans, a materials list and a cost estimate.
That was all preliminary prior to submitting it to the Scout board for approval.
Some of the funds were raised through donations and some of the rocks and stones for the path were donated or offered by suppliers at a reduced cost.
She praised both her son and the merit badge process.
"He spent a lot of time in the planning with a lot of help from the leadership," his mother said. "It takes a whole family and a lot of friends to do an Eagle Scout project."
She noted how her son learned better communication as he planned, organized and led the installation of the prayer garden.
"We hope there will be lots of people sharing in this quiet space through the years to come," Kronbach said.
Last Updated on Thursday, 17 October 2013 09:38