Miami Palmetto High School senior Ariel Colodner recently completed a unique Eagle Scout Project.
“I wanted to do something no one had done before,” he says. “The main purpose is to entice the younger children of the neighborhood to go outside and see what their park has to offer and discover the treasures of the community.”
For his project, Colodner placed Geocaches throughout the park.
“They are small trackable containers that contain trinkets and toys that can be used by any GPS system,” he says. “I filled each cache with a trinket of my own. And placed them in throughout the park. They have the option to put a trinket of their own to trade. Or admire the trinket and write down their name and move on to the next cache.”
There are millions of geocaches around the world and geocaching is now a known outdoor activity. According to Wikipedia, “a typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and sometimes a pen or pencil.”
He placed the containers around the park and handed out forms with the cache locations so they could be found using the location and clues.
Once the flyers run out, people can still find the caches using the QR code on the sign he erected.
“You can scan the QR code and there is no need for paper,” he says.
He hopes his project will inspire others to place caches in other parks.
He began planning the project at the beginning of April and met with the Village of Palmetto Bay parks and recreation representatives four or five times after which he communicated via email. The project was completed August 4.
He earned a badge in geocaching which gave him the idea for the project. The quest to earn that badge took him to the Everglades to find caches.
Colodner earns most of his community service hours by volunteering at numerous Eagle projects done by fellow scouts.
“One of the Eagle Scout projects I volunteered for, included updating the mile markers on the Florida Trail,” he says. “We walked the entire Florida trail, updating fixing or replacing the markers.”
That project took them deep into the Everglades.
He also participated in the 32-mile Barefoot Mailman hike, which stretches from Pompano to South Pointe Park.
Colodner started high school at South Miami High but transferred to Palmetto his junior year.
“South Miami was a magnet high school for music,” he says. “I didn’t feel my future was in music.”
He hasn’t given up music. He plays viola in the Palmetto orchestra.
“I got a superior rating on my solo and ensemble at Palmetto,” he says. “You can either perform as a soloist or as part of an ensemble. I can enjoy it more than using it to get into college.”
At Palmetto he’s the kicker on the varsity football team, making field goals and kicking off. He’s having a good year. Against Coral Gables he went five for five for extra points.
He’s also in the Italian Honor Society.
In college, he hopes to pursue football as a walk on if need be.
He’s planning to apply to the University of Florida and the Coast Guard Academy. He would try out for the CG Academy football team and orchestra. He’s also applying to UCF, FIU and the Miami-Dade Honors College.
Colodner is undecided as to his major, but his interests are political science and law with the idea of possibly going into politics one day.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld