By Christopher Cox
Newberry teen Taliesan Cox is an avid cross country skier and a longtime member of Scouts BSA in the Newberry Troop 130. Cross Country skiing can be tough to fit into a winter weekday filled with school, especially when daylight fades in the late afternoon.
As Cox approached Eagle status with Scouts BSA, merging those two interests helped form the basis of his Eagle Scout project: installing solar-powered lighting at all trail intersections on the Canada Lakes Ski Trails located southeast of Newberry on County Road 403.
“As with many stages of life there are often capstone events,” said his father, Christopher Cox. “For students it might be a dissertation or graduation; for couples it might be a marriage ceremony; for a lawyer it might be being sworn in as a Judge. For a member of Scouts BSA, the capstone is an Eagle Scout Project.”
An Eagle Scout project is selected, planned, and implemented by the Scout member and can benefit a church, community non-profit, or enhance a natural area. The project tests the Scout’s leadership, organization, and communication skills.
Cox worked with the Canada Lakes Cross Country Ski Trail Club and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). He originally wanted to fully light a portion of the trail, but revised his plan to focus on the intersections. Those lights will illuminate maps on the trail and serve as marker points for night skiing.
After getting the Ski club’s endorsement of his idea and DNR approval; Cox solicited local merchants and service organizations to donate funds to the cause, and ultimately met his funding goal.
The lights were installed on Friday, July 7. With the help of seven youth and three adults, Cox led his team to install 15 high-powered solar lights on tall posts. They got the work done in just six hours.
The waterproof, frost-resistant lights should provide five to seven hours of light each night and will turn on at dusk. Cox still advises night skiers to wear a headlamp or carry a flashlight to ski at night.
His project complete, Cox left for Munising on July 9 to spend the rest of his summer working at Hiawatha Scout Camp.
Cox has been a scout for 10 years, working his way from Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA. He has completed all other requirements and can now apply for the coveted rank of Eagle Scout. He would be the first Eagle Scout for Troop 130.
The local Scouts include Cub Scouts (youth from Kindergarten through 5th grade) and Scouts BSA (youth from 6th grade through age 18). Both Boys and Girls are welcome to be members. If you have an interested youth please reach out to the Scoutmaster of Pack/Troop 130, David Edie at 906-293-3880 or check it out online at BeAScout.org
Support for the project was provided by:
American Legion Post 74, Newberry
F&A Masons Lodge 400, Newberry
Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub
Oswald’s Bear Ranch