Teen dives into floating lifeguard station project

TERRE HAUTE – South Vigo High School senior Christian Verst is designing his final scout project and raising money to build it — but he may be saving the life of someone he’s never met.

Verst, 17, has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for his Eagle Scout project – a floating lifeguard station at the nearby Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch for future law enforcement officers, at-risk kids, young witnesses, and victims of crime.

“Eagle Scout is an honor bestowed to just 3 percent of scouts who have demonstrated leadership and management skills by planning, designing, funding, and completing an impactful project,” said Scott Jeffers, B.S.A. Troop 38 scoutmaster. “Christian chose a life-saving station for the lake behind the Sheriffs’ Lodge and Conference Center in neighboring Clay County. From Christian’s 12-foot by 12-foot floating island, lifeguards will have a much better view of visiting youth who are swimming, diving, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.”

Verst’s goal is to raise a total of $1,500 toward a life preserver, lumber, floats, straps, anchors, cable, a ladder, and hardware. Verst hopes his GoFundMe page, https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-an-eagle-scout-save-lives, will allow him to complete the project in time for 2022 spring and summer Sheriffs’ Reward Retreats for at-risk students who are excelling academically and staying on course for graduation, according to ISYR Executive Director Scott Minier, who is one of Verst’s mentors on the project.

Also supporting Verst on the project are Vermillion County Sheriff Mike Phelps and Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse. Verst was introduced to the Youth Ranch by fellow Eagle Scout candidate Nate Lommock, who was born in Vermillion County. Lommock now lives in Vigo County, where he attends school, plays sports, and enjoys scouting with Verst.

“Scouting has provided me so many opportunities and good friends,” Verst said. “This project allows me to give back in a long-term and meaningful way to other young people, parents, and grandparents from here and across Indiana.”
To donate to Verst’s project, go online or mail a tax-deductible contribution to Eagle Scout Lifeguard Station, c/o Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch, 5325 N. State Road 59, Brazil, IN 47834.