Outdoors

How one Waccamaw High kid has made the beach accessible for many with disabilities

Jake Birchmeier shows off the beach wheel chair and storage building he provided for the Town of Pawleys Island as an Eagle Scout project.
Jake Birchmeier shows off the beach wheel chair and storage building he provided for the Town of Pawleys Island as an Eagle Scout project. Submitted photo

Now this was one heck of an Eagle Scout project.

Jake Birchmeier, of Boy Scout Troop 360 at St. Paul’s Waccamaw United Methodist Church in Litchfield Beach, has practically single-handedly provided the south end of Pawleys Island with a beach accessible wheelchair for public use.

The 16-year-old Birchmeier, the son of Rob and Lisa Birchmeier and a junior at Waccamaw High School, also built a storage building for the wheelchair to be housed in.

Jake and his dad, Rob Birchmeier, are avid saltwater anglers, and can often be found surf-fishing on Litchfield Beach and Pawleys Island beaches.

The idea was spawned when Jake saw beach wheel chairs at Huntington Beach State Park, and realized the need for them on Pawleys Island beaches.

The Pawleys Island Town Council approved the project along with a small space for the storage shed beside the public parking lot on the south end of the island.

A big boost to the project came when Pawleys Island Masonic Lodge 409 donated a wheelchair.

The Birchmeiers teamed up to construct the storage building as donated funds came in to support the project.

The completed project, completely funded by private donations and volunteer work, was turned over to the Town of Pawleys Island on Monday.

Of note, the wheelchair and storage building are located at the public beach access adjacent to one of the prime shore-fishing spots along the Grand Strand.

“This chair is in a perfect location for surf fisherman,” said Rob Birchmeier. “It will allow access to the surf and the creek. The spot we do most of our surf fishing is right where the chair is located.”

The project left Mom and Dad pleased with their son.

“Lisa and I are so very proud of Jake,” said Rob Birchmeier. “His kindness, honesty and perseverance during his project is inspiring.”

In order to gain access to the wheelchair, contact the Town of P

  Comments