Eagle Scout’s project makes riding easy for disabled

First Posted: 3/17/2014

Whether you are a diabetic or recovering from an accident or stroke or have a permanent handicap or disability, Doug Albertson’s Eagle Scout project will make horseback riding a lot easier for you.

The 17-year-old senior at Lake-Lehman Senior High School, who lives near Lake Silkworth with his parents Doug and Chris Albertson, chose his Eagle Scout project carefully.

He wanted a project that would have long-lasting impac t- something that would be around and useful for a long time and something that would help those dear to his heart.

Together with his father and seven or eight other friends, Albertson built a mounting ramp for handicapped or disabled people who want to ride at the Shekinah Riding Center in Hunlock Creek.

The riding center offers therapeutic horseback riding lessons to people with special needs. The new ramp will give them an extra lift when mounting the horses, said the farm’s owner Tilly Weaver.

“This ramp is an answer to prayer,” Weaver said of the project, admissing she can’t wait until the weather is warmer to use it.

Albertson learned a lot about wood and building in the course of the project. He learned about angles, pitch and about making things “plumb” he said and has come to like the smell of wood. He coordinated the four–month long weekend project through group email sessions, despite the cold and snowy weather this year.

The easy-going Albertson loves animals, the environment and some special friends he has met at the Dragon Tails Karate School in Luzerne. There he has had the experience of working with the disabled and instructing them.

“It’s easier working with the disabled,” he said. “They are so happy to be there and so appreciative.”

Albertson told of working with a young girl who had terrible social anxiety but who is now comfortable talking to people because of the non-judgmental atmosphereat the karate school. He hopes the horseback riding ramp will help more people feel comfortable riding horses at the farm.

Albertson is proud to be the role model for his younger brothers, Nicholas, 15, and Gregory, 11, who are also aspiring Eagle Scouts but his father, once a Boy Scout himself, is especially proud to see his son reach the rank of Eagle Scout – something he was never able to do.

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