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‘It’s for the kids’

Posted on April 23, 2019

Eagle Scout completes sandbox project at HOPE Landing

By Madeleine Leroux
Managing Editor

On Monday afternoon, Makayln Reid and several members of his family, along with a family friend, were hard at work at HOPE Landing, putting the finishing touches on a new addition to the property.

Reid, 17, is an Eagle Scout and needed to complete an Eagle project, which is meant to be a service project for the community or an organization outside of the Boy Scouts. Reid said he had spent a lot of time at HOPE Landing when his younger brother would have therapy at the property, and he thought he could add something that would benefit the children there.

“I wanted to do something for HOPE Landing,” Reid said on Monday afternoon as he finished the last few details of his newly built, boat-themed sandbox. “It’s for the kids. … Especially out here, where there’s nothing much to do, they need all they can get.”

That’s something Reid knows a bit about. When Reid would have to sit in the waiting room as his brother went to therapy appointments, he would be bored, wishing for something to do, said his mom, Linae Fort, noting that that time was before some of the current playground equipment had been installed on the property. (Some of that playground equipment also was the result of industrious Eagle Scouts, looking to complete their Eagle project.)

“He’s spent a lot of time in the waiting room,” Fort said.

Fort said Reid knew he wanted to do a project for HOPE Landing when he first learned of the Eagle project requirement at age 12, and she couldn’t be prouder to watch him follow through five years later.

“I’m just so proud,” Fort said. “He went all the way through with it. He’s a very smart kid, he’s caring. … He was great as a leader, too.”

Reid, a senior at El Dorado High School, said the wood for the sandbox was donated and he and his family purchased the colored, hypoallergenic sand and toys to fill it. He opted for a boat theme because of other boat themed equipment, including a large wooden boat play set that sits right next to the sandbox. He said the whole project took less than 10 hours, done over three days, with work starting on Saturday.

The family noted that they especially wanted to thank those who donated material and time to make the project possible, and the staff at HOPE Landing for allowing the project on their property.

Also assisting Reid on Monday were his 10-year-old brother, Bryston Fort, and 5-year-old sister, Alyssa Fort. Bryston said he had a lot of fun helping with the project, though he said he wanted to do more than he had. When asked if he would like to take on his own project when he gets older, Bryston nodded eagerly.

Madeleine Leroux can be reached at 870-862-6611 or