Shaun Godair, a sophomore at Rutland High School, isn't your typical high school student. The son of Bill and Charlene Godair of Mendon, Godair displays a maturity not frequently encountered among his peers. But not unlike most male teens, he likes pizza, video games, and an action-packed life.
It may look like Godair has a lot on his plate, but he seems to relish it-he has been a member of the RHS Raiders football team, serves as a cadet officer in the Rutland Squadron of the U.S. Civil Air Patrol, and is poised to earn his Eagle Scout rank as a member of Pittsford BSA Troop 110. In addition to his uniformed commitments, Godair enjoys whitewater rafting, outdoor adventuring, and a variety of similar leadership-building activities.
During the month of June, the young Godair bunked at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas were he served as an active member of a unique Civil Air Patrol aviation education program that exposed him to everything "flight" related-from jet cockpit communications to air traffic control.
Returning home from Lackland, Godair prepared to tackle the heavy lifting portion of his Eagle project on Aug. 28.
As a dedicated Boy Scout since the age of 7, Godair was looking forward to finishing his Eagle Scout project. The required community service project helps pave the way for teens to become Eagle Scouts. But before the project is completed and before becoming an Eagle, a scout must meet several requirements including record keeping and an appearance before a scouting review board.
Godair's Eagle Scout project was ambitious as well as practical: he planned to repair the long-neglected Mendon Trail to its original appearance. The only way to do it was by clearing brush and preparing the trail bed so that local amblers and joggers could enjoy it again. The old trail is easily found now at the Mendon Recreation Field on Notch Road.
"The trail was in pretty bad shape," said Godair. "In fact, I'd go as far as to say it was nearly abandoned! I felt it was a nice trail that could provide a lot of outdoor exercise opportunities for Mendon residents of all ages."
Once he focused attention on repairing the path, Godair had to assemble a team of workers.
Using his leadership skills learned through Scouting and CAP, Godair didn't have much trouble attracting scout and cadet friends to lend their shoulders for some invigorating heavy lifting.
"We cleared brush, cut branches, and pulled rotting logs off the trail," Godair said. "The overall sprucing up was topped off by my team applying new paint blazes to mark the trail and then a final grooming of the path."
Godair spent approximately 135 hours planning and executing the quarter-mile-long project. He began by contacting Mendon officials about his ideas and then enlisted 12 Boy Scouts, two CAP cadets with tools, to pitch in.
By all accounts the teens had a lot of fun, but more importantly, they discovered something deeper about themselves-that the idea of rolling up your sleeves to complete a job provides not only a good feeling, but a sense of accomplishment and self worth.
Teens like Godair prove that with determination and hard work, you can achieve your dreams-and make a real difference in the community.