Eagle Scout Project brings wellness course to Coconut Island

Fit humans lead to a fit planet. That’s the idea behind a new wellness course built recently at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) by Seth D. Williams through his Eagle Scout Service Project.

In order to achieve the coveted Eagle Scout rank, a Scout must plan, develop, and provide leadership to others in a service project helpful to any community, religious institution, or school—an idea consistent with an important part of the Scout Oath: “…to help other people at all times.”

Research staff and students spend considerable time on Coconut Island, home to HIMB. Williams, who had visited the island on June 10, 2017, was inspired to propose the Coconut Island wellness course for his Eagle Scout project because of his love for running and his participation with his school’s Cross Country team at Hanalani Schools.

The project included planning and mapping out the course, repairing and painting the bridge, painting new picnic tables, and designing and installing the map and signs. The Scouts worked closely with HIMB Facilities Manager Andrew Brown to make sure the project effectively supported and furthered the needs of the island campus.

The HIMB Wellness Course is just over one mile in length and offers a scenic walk or jog through the most picturesque locations of the island. The route is shown on the map of the island posted at the beginning of the road that leads to New Pauley Laboratory.

“It is very possible, that other scouts can add workout stations to the course for their Eagle Projects; pull up bars, push up bars and such,” said Williams.

In addition to serving staff and students, the course will also be nice path for visitors to see and experience the beauty of the island.

There is another benefit to this course. “Our faculty, students and staff using this course means they will be ready for biking, walking and hiking. Fit humans lead to a smaller carbon footprint,” said Mark Heckman, HIMB education specialist.

The HIMB director, Dr. Ruth Gates said, “Seth’s Eagle Scout Project reflects HIMB’s desire and willingness to engage with the wider community. Such collaborations underpin important, exciting and long-term changes to our island’s capacity that improve the way we function. We are extremely grateful to Seth for his thoughtful contribution in establishing the HIMB Wellness Course and I know we are all really looking forward to using it.”

“I appreciate Seth being able to do this project on Coconut Island. He is excited to see the course completed and has learned a lot in the process that brought him to where we are now!” said Scott Williams, Seth Williams’ father.