Boy Scouts rebuild split rail fence at Swiss Heritage Village

Authored by Jim Langham on May 22, 2013

As part of a group project at the beginning of the month, local Boy Scouts worked intently at Swiss Heritage Village to reconstruct the split rail fence in preparation for this summer’s season.
“We volunteered to help Swiss Heritage Village redo the split rail fence. It was rotten and starting to fall apart,” said scout master Alan Etzkorn. “It is part of our community service as troops. They allow us to have our meetings here. We have a good partnership with Swiss Heritage Village. We camped out all night.
“We help out here during Swiss Heritage Festival in the fall,” continued Etzkorn.
Other than Swiss Heritage Village, the scouts run a food stand during Swiss Days and set up the Christmas card exhibit at the site of the former South Adams Elementary School during the holiday season.
Etzkorn said that the way the scouts worked together is an example of the camaraderie that is developed through various projects and outings.
Kurt Gay served as the senior youth leader in charge for the project.
“We help Swiss Heritage Village and they in turn allow us to use their building for our meetings,” commented Gay. “This is one of our main community service projects. Boy Scouts is all about giving back to the community.
“We learn how to treat cuts, scrapes and bruises,” said Gay. “We also learn how to work together for the bigger projects like this.”
Gay has enjoyed the scouting experience because of the many new friends that he has made.
“It (scouting) has helped define who I really am,” said Gay. “It has taught me how to communicate with other people. If someone needs help, we can respond right away. I know that this has made me a better helper.”
Swiss Heritage Village executive director Debby Neuenschwander said that Swiss Heritage officials are grateful for the relationship the village has had with local scouts over the years.
“They hold their meetings here, but they help us out in return,” commented Neuenschwander. “It is a blessing to Swiss Heritage Village. I’m impressed that after a cold night camping, they’re working as hard as they are today. I’m very impressed with their work ethic.”
Much of the work accomplished has been in preparation for Swiss Heritage Village opening in earnest in a couple of weeks.
During May, Swiss Heritage Village is open on Saturday’s from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Beginning on June 1, it is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. except for Sundays and holidays.
The first major event coming up is the Haystack Luncheon which will occur from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 9. Other traditional events will include the Car Show, Weiner Dog Races and Variety Dog Show on July 27, Berne Heritage Festival on Sept. 7 and Fundraising Auction on Sept. 10.

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