Eagle Scout Completes Gun Range Project

Eagle Scout Completes Gun Range Project
Stephen Decatur freshman Connor Smith of Boy Scout troop 281 in Ocean View cuts the ribbon his eagle scout project at the county's firing range. Submitted Photo

BERLIN — The Worcester County Firing Range in Newark got an important new addition last week thanks to a Stephen Decatur High School freshman’s Eagle Scout project.

The ribbon was officially cut last Thursday on the latest addition to the Worcester County firing range in Newark, utilized by federal, state and local law enforcement officials, and the public in general, for firearms training. Stephen Decatur freshman Connor Smith of Boy Scout troop 281 in Ocean View conceived of and built the structure, referred to as an Adirondack, at the firing range for his Eagle Scout service project.

Eagle Scout candidates, after completing the rigorous collection of merit badges and moving up the ranks, are required to do a public service project to reach the lofty final goal. For Smith, whose mother is Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy Jennifer DeGiovanni, constructing the needed structure at the Worcester County firing range was an obvious fit.

“I have been working toward my Eagle Scout rank for six months,” he said. “At the beginning of the summer, I had a conversation with one of the instructors who teaches at the Worcester County firing range, who said there was a need for a structure for shooters to shoot from at the 100-yard line. I then decided that would be a great Eagle Scout project for me to build.”

The Worcester County firing range in Newark, about halfway between Berlin and Snow Hill, is open to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to use as well as the general public. The purpose of the range is to train police and the public to shoot guns in a safe environment.

With the help of his team, Smith built the three-sided structure with a cantilever roof at the 100-yard line at the gun range. Smith also built a shooting bench and a gun rack. The Adirondack will allow police officers and the public to train in all sorts of weather and in varying conditions. When shooters go to the range, they must sight their weapons that very day or they will not be allowed to train for a while. The Adirondack also gives police officers and the public a covered area from which they can shoot from the table Smith made, or from a prone, or lying down, position, which is the most stable.

The Adirondack also allows for shooters to keep the sun glare out of their optics and sights while they train. Police snipers will also use the building to scope in their rifles in a controlled environment. Smith recently finished the project and the ribbon was cut on the building in a special ceremony last Thursday.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.