Boy Scout Dev Patel from Toop 21 has completed his Eagle Scout project at FOR,a River Cam that promotes safety on the water. Dev, center, is shown with his parents, Vanita, left, and Rajesh Patel.

Some things are worth the wait and Friends of the Rappahannock’s new River Cam is definitely one of them. In 2016, Dev Patel, Eagle Scout candidate with Boy Scout Troop 21 approached FOR about bringing a live feed of the River back to the FOR website. We were excited by that possibility and by the opportunity to work with an Eagle Scout candidate who wanted to tackle a complex project with so many elements.

It took some serious head scratching, some hard labor, significant community donations of expertise, time and materials but we are finally there. You can admire the beauty of the river and imagine you are sitting at the river’s edge, even when you can’t be there in person.

There is also an important safety element to the project. Visible in the foreground of the River Cam is a green, yellow, and red safety gauge. Just like a traffic light, the safety gauge can help folks stay informed about water conditions. It’s a pretty simple message: green is Go, yellow is Unsafe for recreational activities, and Red means rescue operations may be impossible.

Dev deserves credit as the inspiration for this project, for perseverance when it looked like we were out of options, and for bringing it to a successful conclusion with donated cable (and other supplies) and volunteer labor. Mike Logan and his team from Logan Electric also deserve a BIG shoutout for donating the camera and other supplies and LOTS of labor to help us solve the electrical challenges and supporting the installation of the cable line from the office to the camera at the river’s edge.

Dev, 17, recently graduated with honors from Massaponax High School and will study neuroscience at the University of Virginia, beginning this fall.

Watch our Facebook page and website for specific details as we say thank you to all people who made this happen.

By Kathleen Harrigan

FOR Executive Director