The following article was submitted by Joe Fleming.
On Sunday, June 3, 2012, the pastors, staff and congregation of Chesapeake Christian Fellowship (CCF) in Davidsonville dedicated the Scott Barber Memorial Park. This was a project developed and led by scout Jesse Bengel of Troop 1437, which meets at the church.
A large crowd was in attendance on a beautiful day to cut the ribbon and officially open the completed park as they honored and remembered one of their own who had preceded them in death.
Scott “Scotty” L. Barber, a 38-year resident of Edgewater, died suddenly on July 12, 2011. He worked in the engineering department at Anne Arundel Medical Center for more than 25 years.
Barber and his wife, Barbara Barber, have been very active members at the church, where they were leaders of the Family Ministries. Scotty helped run the Overcomer's Outreach program and played bass in the Worship Team.
Senior Pastor Pat Packett said, “He and his wife, Barbara Barber, have been at CCF since almost the beginning. During that time, they touched the lives of so many as they lived out the gift of hospitality. I believe Scott would smile at the thought of others' fellowshipping and experiencing the gift of hospitality in a park that bears his name.”
Bengel, a 2012 graduate of Annapolis High School, explained why he chose to pursue this effort:
“When I was picking my Eagle Scout project I knew that I wanted to do something for CCF. I knew that Pastor Pat likes additions to the church, and I figured that a picnic area would be very useful for the members or the church. I never even thought about naming the picnic area or even dedicating it, but as I was writing up the project I received the news about Scott Barber. My dad then brought up the proposition of the picnic area being dedicated to Scotty at one of the church meetings, and there was unanimous approval. I was honored to be able to build the picnic area in memory of a person who gave so much back to the church,” Bengel said.
This effort was a major undertaking as the area designated for the park was a completely undeveloped part of the church property. Jesse described in detail what he did to renovate the area.
“First, I had to write up the project and the plans to be approved by Pastor Pat and by the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The write up had to be extensive, and very specific regarding the materials to be used, the cost of those materials, and the methods to be used in carrying out the project. After everything was planned out, I had to hunt for donations all around Annapolis and Edgewater,” he said.
“I received about $1,200 from my family, friends, and businesses around Annapolis, while the church covered some of the costs involved that I was unable to carry out during my project (such as the chain-linked fence, the playground set, and the extra wood chips).
"I also had to recruit volunteers at church. Once everything was in place, we could start the project. First, we were tasked in clearing out the area where the picnic area was supposed to go (it was full of thick underbrush, thorns, vines, poison ivy, and dead trees),” Bengel added.
“Then we had to even the area out with a bobcat, and kill all of the thick plant growth in the ground by spraying a relatively strong herbicide. Then we had to build the picnic tables, fire pit, dedication stand, and horseshoe pit, all from scratch.
"Once everything was in place, we had to lay down landscape fabric across the whole area, and woodchip the entire area. Finally, we finished the picnic area by building the playground set, and spreading even more high grade wood chips,” Bengel said.
The 2012 Annapolis grad now must complete the final paperwork required to obtain his Eagle Scout award. Beyond that, his plans are to attend the University of Maryland in the fall and to major in computer engineering.
The church members will now be able to use the park for many events in the future. Barbara Barber expressed her thanks to those attending the memorial ceremony.
“Our family would like to extend our gratitude towards Jesse and all the others who generously gave of their time to build this wonderful park in memory of Scott. It is everything that he enjoyed doing, especially fellowshipping with friends and family around a campfire,” she said.