Clay James of Boy Scout Troop 468 made sure the people who established the Ormond Beach Sports Complex are remembered.
Long before 15-year-old Clay James was born, his great grandfather was busy making sure future generations would have sporting fields in Ormond Beach. Recently Clay made his own contribution to the Ormond Beach Sports Complex.
When Clay, the current senior patrol leader for Boy Scout Troop 468, went looking for an Eagle Scout project he looked no further than the fields his great-grandfather helped to establish. Specifically, the small monument commemorating those who made it possible that had been “forgotten.”
The framed sign that once accompanied the monument was blown away by a hurricane, and all that remained was the white frame and the monument hidden in the grass by the parking lot. Clay proposed that a new monument be constructed and placed in front of the flagpole between the club house and concession stands.
Clay’s Great Grandfather Charlie Croucher, along with Harry Wendelstedt, an umpire in major baseball league, and their Kiwanis Club, raised funds to establish the ball fields off U.S. 1 in Ormond Beach.
“He had a vision, along with Harry Wendelstedt, to create support fields for Ormond,” Clay’s mother Shirley James said.
Paperwork was involved, and after more than six months of designing, talking to city officials, filling out the necessary scout papers and “shopping” for a rock and plaque, it was time to see the project to completion.
The coquina rock was donated from surplus by the city of Ormond Beach, and Clay was able to pick out the exact rock he wanted for his project.
“I checked out other monuments and wanted to stay consistent,” Clay said. “The coquina rock seemed the best to use.”
Clay’s scout uniform sash has 40 round patches depicting the merit badges he has earned. His favorite is the welding patch he earned at camp and it might have spurred a career interest.
“I liked the hands-on activity and think I might want to pursue that,” Clay said.
The scout has been quite busy this summer. He earned his certification in scuba diving with the scouts, and traveled to Namibia on a mission trip with his family.
“It’s amazing how little they have, but how much love they have,” he said.