New bridge for Maple Hill runners

Originally published in the Albany Times Union - By Dylan Rossiter


The Boy Scout slogan states that Scouts should "Do a Good Turn Daily!" but one Castleton Scout went above that call of duty this fall, improving a community landmark for his Eagle Scout project.

Noah Roberts, 17, saw a need and jumped on it. The Maple Hill High School senior rebuilt a new bridge on the school's cross-country course, which is also widely used by community members.

"I've been playing soccer ever since I could. When I would walk across the broken bridge for practice, I saw that it was rundown," said Roberts. "I knew my Eagle Scout project was coming up soon, so I decided to put my time to good use and do something big for this community."

Roberts, a three-sport varsity athlete and president of several school clubs, admits the process was a lot harder than he initially thought. "When I first started, I thought we'd get it done in one to two weeks. I was severely wrong," said Roberts, who started the project in August. "It's harder than people think."

Roberts credits his family, especially his brother Seth and their parents, and his friends for their support. "They've all been a huge help even though I know they didn't have to. I'd put it out there in a group chat with my friends, and I'd get more replies to help than I could have ever imagined."

The new bridge, which sits on what is a practice portion of the course, could potentially diversify the small school's program, opening up a new course section with a hill on it.

Cross-country head coach Jim Farrell said, "I am really excited and cannot thank Noah Roberts enough."

Roberts got his design approved by various professionals and solicited funds for the project. With the support of the Maple Hill Booster Club, Curtis Lumber, Tractor Supply Co.Ken Morris and Sons, and the Home Depot, Roberts says, "the bridge is there to stay."

As he crosses the finish line of Boy Scouting, the Honor Society member plans on pursuing a degree in engineering and dreams of doing so at Massachusetts Institute of Technology next fall.

Dylan Rossiter is a Maple Hill High School student who participates in the New Visions program at the Times Union.