Palmetto High School senior Chris Perse is an Eagle Scout. Perse did his Eagle Project at Chapman Field Park, in Nov. 2011.
“We redid the whole platform around the concession stand,” he says. “We installed a ramp and we weather-proofed tables and benches around the park.”
Perse chose to help refurbish the concession stand because of his love of baseball. “I’ve been a baseball player since second grade,” Perse says.
“I’ve always loved playing and the park has meant a lot to me. The platform around it was small and they didn’t have a place to grill, so I thought it would be nice to give them a better cooking area.”
It took five months from when he first asked permission to work on the project to completion.
“The recreational manager was very nice and they’re very happy to accept any help,” Persesays.
The day of the project he had 80 volunteers. He says he had expected to be done by noon, but a structural problem cropped up.
“There was a two-inch gap between two landings in the platform,” Perse says. “Between the old planks and the new area, there was a small deficit in the height. We eventually figured it out.”
He and his father returned two or three times before finally fixing the problem.
In addition to the concession stand expansion, the volunteers cleared the parking lot and mulched sections of the area.
“We put in a ramp and had it wrapping around,” he says.
He raised $1,500 for the project, mostly from family and friends of the family.
“The project cost about $1,000,” Perse says, “The remaining money, we donated it to the park.”
Perse’s love of baseball has continued and now he plays first base and outfield for Palmetto High. Baseball season begins in February, but the boys play all year long, starting the school year with league play. Perse says the players are all good friends and they have a good time playing together.
They also work together on the President’s Day Baseball Clinic at Coral Reef Park. Perse says he enjoys working with the younger kids, teaching them how to play the game.
“I’ve coached football before,” he says.
“That was with some friends at Pinecrest Elementary a couple years back.”
He has also volunteered at the Five Star Baseball Camp which is held each summer at Westminster.
Although baseball doesn’t leave him a lot of free time, he is involved in other extracurricular activities at Palmetto.
“I’m on the newspaper staff; I’m the public relations manager,” he says.
Perse also writes stories and editorials. He says writing editorials is fun. And he is also a history buff.
“I love history. It’s by far my favorite subject,” he says. “I feel like history is a combination of everything. It’s such a broad study of everything that ever happened. It’s like watching a movie and it’s real.”
His ability in history took him to the National History Bowl last year. He filled in for a friend who had a prior commitment.
“I went to DC,” he says. “We did fairly well.”
— By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld