A scout with a message


Benjamin Amundson, left, and Rabbi Marc Jagolinzer, rabbi of Temple Shalom, stand before new signage in Middletown. /AMUNDSON FAMILYPROVIDENCE  – Benjamin Amundson is a young man with a message – a message board, that is.

This Portsmouth High School senior, active in sports – football at school and club rugby with Island Rugby – has been involved in scouting for eight years. Earlier this month, he completed his Eagle Scout project, replacing both an old message board and a directional road sign at Temple Shalom in Middletown that were barely visible from the road. In fact, they had fallen into such disrepair that visitors had difficulty finding the synagogue.

In order to get a new informational message board that would be easy for motorists to read from both directions, he contacted John Liptak, a sign maker from Portsmouth who is known for his handmade signs.

Ben, a son of Richard and Cindy Amundson, then sought to raise the funds necessary to complete the project; eventually, he raised more than $1,300 from the congregation.

He and his father rebuilt the old road sign from the ground up, duplicating one that had been built and installed by a congregation member 30 years ago. Both new signposts are now surrounded by gravel and pavers to protect them from errant weed whackers or lawn mowers.

Ben hopes to continue developing his project skills as an engineering major in college next fall.

Arthur C. Norman (abcnorman@aol.com) is a contributing writer for The Jewish Voice.