Horseriders Campground in Palmyra is one of the premier horse campgrounds in the Wisconsin State Parks system. Drawing visitors from all over the Midwest thanks to its many amenities, including campsites with electricity and horse corrals, shower house and flush toilets, lighted pavilion and 54-plus miles of well-groomed horse trails, the campground is host to many annual events each year, including competitive endurance riding events and annual fundraisers for the Southern Kettle Moraine Horse Trail Association.
Thanks to 14-year-old Sawyer Beckwith — a member of Boy Scout Troop 54 in Eagle — Horseriders Campground has received another upgrade. Sawyer discovered last fall the group bonfire seating area and protective fence around it had fallen into disrepair and needed to be replaced for safety reasons.
With encouragement from members of SKMHTA, Sawyer developed a detailed plan for installation of a new fence and upgrading the seating area for a safe, attractive and low-maintenance solution. He presented his plan to Anne Korman, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources superintendent of the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Anne approved the plans and Sawyer worked with the president of SKMHTA, Tara LeRoy, to secure funding for the project.
SKMHTA is an active local horse trail club and provided Sawyer a donation for all materials purchased and helped ensure materials and installation would be appropriate and safe for the equestrian campground.
“I was impressed with Sawyer’s attention to detail: His initial presentation was very professional, and the finished project is functional, safe, and attractive,” LeRoy said. “I have already received many compliments from the horse community about the completed project. We truly appreciate Sawyer’s initiative in undertaking this project.”
Sawyer completed this community service project in May as part of requirements to achieve his Eagle Scout ranking. The rank of Eagle Scout is the highest rank achieved in scouting, with only about 4 percent of scout boys achieving this rank. (Sawyer will become a second-generation Eagle Scout in his family, as his father Scott Beckwith was also an Eagle Scout). This project required Sawyer to plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project to benefit his community. With the Kettle Moraine State Forest and a large horse community in his hometown, he felt this would be a project countless people would benefit from for years to come.
To see Sawyer’s completed project, visit Horseriders Campground at 714 S. Third St., Palmyra. For more information about SKMHTA or the campground, visit www.skmhta.com.