Bountiful Eagle Scout candidate chooses project benefitting Summit County | ParkRecord.com

Bountiful Eagle Scout candidate chooses project benefitting Summit County

Walker Gentry builds puppet stand, donates children’s items

Walker Gentry, who is 17 years old and lives in Bountiful, stands next to the puppet stand he built as part of his service project to earn his Eagle Scout award on Monday at the Summit County Childrens Justice Center.

When Bountiful teenager Walker Gentry began exploring ideas for a service project to earn his Eagle Scout award, a family friend suggested he consider selecting a project to benefit children in Summit County.

Gentry, who is 17 years old and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said a member of his ward knew local Det. Christina Sally, of the Summit County Sheriff's Office. Sally is the lead investigator with the Summit County Children's Justice Center and creator of the Camp Safety program.

"I decided that this was the project I wanted to do because I felt like it was a good cause to help out with," Gentry said.

With the help of several church members and his scout troop, Gentry collected stuffed animals, toys, books and fleece blankets to donate to the Justice Center, one of 22 centers across the state that provide child-focused programs in a safe setting for child abuse victims who are referred for services.

Gentry also constructed a new puppet stand for the Camp Safety program, which is a weeklong camp that promotes safety awareness, anti-bullying, and bicycle and fire safety. The camp includes puppet shows and other engaging activities.

"It's phenomenal because we do have so many kids that come through our center and these donations are tremendous for the children and the families," Sally said. "It's not so much about giving them something, it's about comfort.

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"The puppet stand is also huge because it will help us engage the children during the camp," Sally said.

On Monday, Gentry dropped off the items and puppet stand to the Justice Center. He said he still needs to complete his paperwork and board review before he officially earns his Eagle Scout award.

"This is a thing that a lot of people struggle with and it makes me feel better knowing that I was able to help out these kids and make their lives easier," Gentry said.