History-Minded Scout to Receive Eagle Badge
With parents being longtime members of the Barnegat Township Historical Society, it was no surprise that Christopher Brower developed an interest in his community’s past at a young age. So when it came to picking an Eagle Scout project, it did not take him long to decide on developing a self-guided walking tour of Barnegat’s historic sites.
On Saturday, Nov. 10, Brower will rewarded for his efforts when he receives his Eagle Badge at a Troop 26 court of honor ceremony at Manahawkin Baptist Church’s Fellowship Hall.
The project included planning of the tour route, obtaining permission from the township to place signs, soliciting donations for money and materials, creating and planning signs with assistance from troop members, compiling information for the tour and obtaining sponsorship from the Barnegat Historical Society.
The tour begins at a sign located at the corner of East Bay Avenue and Route 9. The sign provides information about the town’s past, the tour and a picture of East Bay Avenue in the early 1900s. The walk can be customized for a walk of approximately 25 minutes to nearly an hour.
“Many of our historic sites are within a few blocks of the downtown area,” said Cindy Janowiak, president of the historical society. “For a longer walk, participants can add the Rail Trail extension or the Historical Society Heritage Village. Parking is available on the north side of East Bay Avenue and the municipal parking lot adjacent to the park.
Janowiak said copies of the tour could be downloaded at the group’s web site, barnegathistoricalsociety.com.
“We have gotten some e-mails from people who have really enjoyed the tour,” she said.
Brower said that of all the historic sites, he finds the Heritage Village the most intriguing.
“It is made up of buildings that represent different time periods of our town’s history,” he said. “You get a feeling of what life was like in the 18th and 19th centuries. I want other people to get an understanding of our town’s rich heritage.”
His mother, Sandra Kellogg, is Heritage Village curator, while his father, Gary Brower, is a society past-president and currently the building chairman.
Brower, a freshman at Monmouth University, graduated in June from Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Sciences. At MATES, he received recognition in the school’s Project Terrapin program and also received the School Counts Gold Award from the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. His goal is to receive a master’s degree in history with an emphasis on studying World War II. Brower hopes to be a museum curator, researcher and a writer of history.
“Christopher has had many exciting experiences in scouting,” said troop leader Kurt Stofko. “He has camped with his troop at summer camps up and down the East Coast. He has participated in Scouting for Food and has assisted in a number of Eagle Scout projects. He received recognition for his evacuation efforts in Hurricane Irene in 2011.”
— Eric Englund