For the Times
BELLBROOK (WDTN) — An Eagle Scout’s project is making a splash on the Little Miami River.
When traveling down the river through parts of Greene County, a common name will appear on the signs hanging just under the bridge. It reads “Connor Campbell,” a longtime friend of the Eagle Scout who helped put the signs up there.
“Connor was one of my really good friends and I had a hard time choosing what to do,” said Nathan Cordonnier said about his Eagle Scout project. “I knew this would really impact his family a lot and it would help the community at the same time.”
It was Connor’s idea years ago to begin putting signs under bridges to help people on the water know where they were going.
Sadly, he wouldn’t see his dream become reality. In 2010, a day before his first camp as a Boy Scout, the 11-year-old died at home after a long battle with heart complications.
Years later, Cordonnier, a junior at Bellbrook High School, has helped his idea comes to life.
“People coming down this river do not know where they are,” said Chief Marvin Moeller with the Spring Valley Township Fire Department. “They see a bridge. They don’t know what road they are going by.”
It has been a longtime problem firefighters have been trying to fix.
In July, the Spring Valley Fire Department, along with mutual aid, spent nearly an hour trying to rescue thirteen people on the river. Most of that time was spent trying to find those people.
Moeller believes the signs will save precious time.
“It sometimes can cut 15 to 20 minutes from a response time for us,” said Moeller. “We’ll know exactly where to go. We’ll know which jurisdiction to call.”
Cordonnier was honored during a special ceremony on Sept. 8 the Little Miami River Kleeners. Connor’s family also attended.
“I can see him living on and being proud with what Nathan is doing,” said Connor’s mother Jill Campbell. “That’s more important.”
The signs honor a young explorer by helping others safely discover the world around them.
“It’s been a long time that we’ve been working on it,” said Cordonnier. “I’m very proud. I think it’s really cool.”
Signs have only been posted underneath Greene County bridges so far and Moeller said the goal is to get signs underneath bridges owned by the state as well.
The bridges that have signs on them are: Roxanna New Burlington, Indian Ripple, Lower Bellbrook, Washington Mill and Upper Bellbrook roads.
Story compiled by Merrilee Embs and our news partners WDTN.