With repair project, Boy Scout puts bikes back into rotation


August 30, 2002|By Lesa Jansen | Lesa Jansen,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SANTA'S WORKSHOP will be in Mount Airy this weekend, when a local Boy Scout works to attain Scouting's highest honor while helping his community.

South Carroll High School senior Ben Bohrer grew up watching his father, Dave, making the dreams of less-fortunate children come true with the gift of a bicycle.

Dave Bohrer collects and repairs bicycles through the Mount Airy Jaycees to be distributed to youngsters in need.

"My dad has been fixing bikes and taking 50 to 80 bikes up to Westminster each Christmas for the Neighbors in Need program for 10 years now," Ben said.

"I started helping my dad six years ago in 1996," he continued. "He taught me how to perform bike repair duties, and when I was looking for an Eagle Scout project this just seemed the best thing to do. My project objective is to demonstrate leadership and guidance as a supervisor."

Since spring, the younger Bohrer has been planning his Eagle Scout project, recruiting fellow Scouts to help with the repairs and spreading the word to the community.

This past weekend, Ben and his crew of 15 fellow Boy Scouts from Troop 460 set up their operation at Mount Airy Bicycles and Fitness. Fifty-two repairable bikes were donated.

"A lot of people donated bikes that their children had outgrown," Ben said. "But they were interested in knowing where the bikes were going and were happy to find out they would go to kids."

Ben and his team spent the day performing minor repairs on the bikes. They will set up again from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow at the bicycle shop, 4540 Old National Pike, taking in more repairable bikes.

Last year, Neighbors in Need helped 1,250 area families during the holiday season, said Joan McKee, deputy director of development and community relations for Human Services Program Carroll County Inc. The organization plans to open its annual holiday shop for two days in December. Neighbors in Need clients, and other people referred to the program from churches and community groups, can choose free presents at the shop for family members. The Bohrer family bikes will be available there.

"A lot of families don't have a lot of money and can't afford a new bicycle for Christmas," Ben said. "I think if you've been fortunate enough to make a good living, it's great to be able to give back to the community."

Information: BigBen4531 @aol.com.

Farm history

Step back into the rich history of not only Mount Airy but of Maryland as the story of Four County Farm is told.

The farm is near Route 27 and Interstate 70 -where Carroll, Howard, Frederick and Montgomery counties meet. On the farm is a pond with an underwater stone marker designating the point where the four counties share their borders.

Local resident Linda Field, a seventh-generation descendent of the original owners, has researched the farm's history with her mother, Arline Snead, and written a personal genealogy for family members.

She plans to share stories at a lecture sponsored by Mount Airy Historical Society at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the lower level of Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company firehouse on North Main Street.

"One of the funny stories we found happened when a Union cavalry troop camped on our farm during the Civil War," Field said.

She recounted how the family tried to hide valuables that the troop might appropriate. The family even sewed coins into beanbags.

"The officers would spend time with the family at the house at night and one night they played a game of tossing the bean bags to one another. Imagine the family fortune flying through the air right in front of them and they didn't even know it," Field said, laughing.

Four County Farm has been used for community picnics, weddings and political rallies since John Parr bought it in 1837. The 200-acre farm remains in Field's family with ownership shared by three cousins who are descendants of Parr.

Lesa Jansen's Southwest neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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