Two new eagle scouts from the Castle Pines community
Eagle Scout Luke Zahorik sits on one of the benches he designed and built for Lincoln Mountain open space park.
By Elizabeth Wood West; photos courtesy of Lynn Zahorik and Lisa Bartmann
Castle Pines resident Luke Zahorik has spent most of his 18 years of life in Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Zahorik, a senior at Rock Canyon High School (RCHS), started BSA as a cub scout and joined Castle Pines BSA Troop 316 seven years ago. Zahorik’s longtime BSA commitment and completion of his eagle scout project recently earned him the rank of eagle scout. Zahorik said, “Becoming an eagle scout means a lot to me. While I started scouts simply because I enjoyed it, it became more of a goal, something to strive for. It’s always been really cool to me to meet someone older that is an eagle scout, because I know they’ve gone through a lot of the same experiences I have.”
Zahorik’s eagle scout project was to design and build benches on a hiking trail at Lincoln Mountain, Douglas County Open Space’s new 876-acre park. Lincoln Mountain opened in August and features public hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails.
Zahorik said, “The most challenging part of the project was planning every single little detail, from where to get materials, to how I was going to get volunteers to the site. The most rewarding aspect was seeing the benches finally installed, simply because of how much work was put into them. With very little exception, I came up with everything from scratch, and to see such a massive project finally come to fruition (in some ways better than I had even hoped) was just an awesome feeling. I was also thrilled to be able to work so much with my friends on this project. They knew how much this meant to me that they were willing to put so much of their time into it with me.”
Zahorik’s favorite scouting memory was when he earned the rowing merit badge, which involved having to sink a rowboat three times. Zahorik said, “Apparently, we sunk it wrong the first two times! It wasn’t any fun at the time, but I love to think back on it.” Zahorik is a member of the RCHS track team, Future Business Leaders of America, Rock Canyon Television, and enjoys being a deejay and playing basketball in his free time. After graduation, Zahorik plans to pursue a degree in computer science security.
Eagle Scout Andi Bartmann poses with his helpers next to flower boxes he designed and built for Oakwood Senior Apartments.
Seventeen year old Andi Bartmann is a RCHS senior and lives in Castle Pines Village. Bartmann joined BSA more than ten years ago while living in Germany with his family, and has been a member of Sedalia BSA Troop 637 for the last six years. After completing his final project and becoming an eagle scout, Bartmann said, “To me, being an eagle scout means a solemn understanding of what it means to be an all-around perfect scout, the ability to work out situations by thinking outside of the box, and to be able to follow the scout oath of being physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”
Bartmann’s eagle scout project was to design and build raised flower boxes for the Oakwood Senior Apartments in Castle Rock. Constructing the boxes proved to be the most difficult aspect of the project for Bartmann and his team. “After having cut out all of the pieces and putting one together as a prototype, I realized that the pieces were not fitting exactly as they should, and I had to have my team re-assemble them. It was a lot easier to re-assemble them than it was to initially put them together, but it was a challenge disassembling them,” said Bartmann. “In the end, the most rewarding aspect of the project was being able to see all of the seniors at the Oakwood Senior Apartments enjoying their flower boxes.
Bartmann did a flag raising ceremony to replace the apartment’s old and tattered flag and said he felt honored in being able to see all of the seniors enjoying the spectacle of a new flag being flown over their homes.
Bartmann said his favorite scouting adventure was his first wilderness survival camp out. “Our troop hosts this camp every year, and for my first one, it was at the Apartment Rocks over on Rampart Range. I did not know much about camping at the time, and I remember I did not bring enough socks. But, what I learned on that camp-out set the tone for many of the camp-outs to come,” said Bartmann.
After graduation, Bartmann is considering attending either the University of Colorado at Boulder or Colorado Springs. Bartmann added, “I also plan to use my eagle scout knowledge to continue with my recently-acquired position working with Colorado Climate Control as an air conditioner technician.”