On any given day, someone uses the pull-up fitness station located within the Okaloosa County Woodlands Park in the Woodlands of Bluewater Bay.
Found in the northeast corner of the park, swim team members may be working on upper body strength; runners add the piece of equipment to their fitness regime; children see it as one more thing upon which they may climb.
The station was installed by recent high school graduate Emilio Salvador and Boy Scout Troop 157. Installation of the fitness equipment was his Eagle Scout project, completed in November 2022.
“I think his desire was he started working out more, and he realized you don’t need a gym,” said Emilio’s mother, Connie Salvador.
“June 12 was his Eagle award ceremony at Lincoln Park in Valparaiso,” Salvador also said. “It was an extremely special event because eight former Troop 157 Eagle Scouts attended.”
Emilio couldn’t speak himself about the project because he was beginning his basic cadet training as entry into the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Emilio follows in his father’s footsteps as he pursues a military career.
“Victor, my husband, was Air Force and enlisted for 22 years,” Connie Salvador said. The couple’s older son, Eddie, headed to University of Central Florida and purses a civilian career as a secure software engineer; their daughter, Victoria, is a cadre at the Air Force Academy and working with this year’s cadets.
“She is a senior, and (Emilio) is a freshman,” Salvador added.
Because of their father’s military service, the family lived in several locations. Throughout those years, Emilio participated in scouting.
“He started out as a cubbie, the littlest rank, and he went all the way through,” Salvador said. “He had done scouting in Alaska, and we lived Dayton, Ohio.”
Once here, Emilio joined Troop 157.
Raising three successful children, Salvador said, wasn’t much of a secret.
“I’m a no drugs, no alcohol and no cable TV mom,” she said, but she added that isn’t the only part of the formula.
“I always tell people don’t worry about teaching your kids their ABCs,” she said, noting that they will learn the basics in school.
“Teach them what you want them to know,” Salvador said.
As the sun gets a little lower on a summer evening, families put aside television and gather at The Woodlands Park. The younger children head the swings, while the older children and a few adults take turns on the pull-up bars. Possibly they don’t know this was an Eagle Scout project installation, but perhaps the children, and maybe adults, are learning what they need to know.
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