Palm Crest Elementary School: Safer Pick-Up Area Thanks to Scout

Nick Bell has great memories of his seven years at Palm Crest, except perhaps for the frequently dusty, dirty or muddy area at the far right of the pick up line in front of the school.

“It ‘s always been a slip hazard,” he recalls. And that is why, for his Eagle Scout project, Nick chose to take on an ambitious project. He installed paving stones across the 2,500 square foot area at the south end of the circular drive.

As Nick explains it, the process involved digging 6″ down, then adding a two inch compacted base of sand followed by paving stones laid in a mixed pattern and filled in with sand. He further says it could not have happened without the generosity of others who gave their time, talents, and funds.

“The Palm Crest PTA made a donation of $1,000, and Angeles Paving gave us a huge discount.” He additionally praises two PCR dads, Charlie Likins and John Caire, whose professional expertise was invaluable.

Nick, now a sophomore at Loyola High School and a member of the Rose Bowl Aquatics swim team, is a scout in Troop 509, also known as the JPL group. Dr. Martin Kast is the troop’s scoutmaster, and Nick’s dad, Darren, is the assistant.

“My dad was an Eagle Scout,” Nick explains. “In fact, he earned a medallion because he saved someone’s life. ”

Nick wasn’t always attracted to scouts, and in fact quit briefly as a cub. But when he rejoined it was with a strong sense of commitment. One of the lasting memories he already has is a two week outing with his dad and 13 others to New Mexico Philmont Scout Ranch, a two- week excursion in the wilderness that included a 40- pound backpack, only one shower, and food supplies every couple of days. It was a great exercise in survival.

Now Nick has another scout memory. His Eagle project has given him the chance to have, he says, “a big part in giving back to Palm Crest.”

Palm Crest Elementary School, 5025 Palm Drive, La Cañada, (818) 952-8360 or visit



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