By Mary O’KEEFE
When Ben Jones, a Boy Scout with Troop 391 located at the Church of Latter-day Saints walked into the Fire House he knew he wanted to do something to help the youth center but wasn’t certain what project to do.
“This is a good place to [help] keeps kids out of trouble, a fun place to be and it helps the community,” Jones said.
The Fire House is a drop in center for kids and is a project of St. Luke’s of the Mountains and on the church property.
The volunteers at the Fire House gave Jones several suggestions of areas that needed help. The first was an art wall where they could display art that was created by kids. The second was to finally put the surround to the sound speakers that were donated about a year ago by a community member.
Another project offered to Jones was the garden that is just to the north of the Fire House. The community garden is designed to raise food to distribute to a local food bank. Several areas needed to be cared for including dealing with all the rocks dug out during planting.
Jones listened to all the areas that needed help and decided that he would do them all.
He and his supporters/workers arrived at 8 a.m. and by 11 a.m. they were winding down. They had dug into the side of the hills and used the rocks to border tiered planting areas. Behind the fenced community garden, Jones and his workers created one more tier and finished by using all the rocks that had been dug up to build a rock walkway.
Inside the Fire House, Jones led workers to paint a very large wall, door and window frames. The wall was prepared to be the new Fire House Art Wall. PTSA moms had created a border around the pieces of artwork that had been done by the kids beforehand.
While Jones had some workers painting, others climbed tall ladders to hang and wire the surround sound in Christopher’s Room, the center’s big room.
“It was a lot of work but it was worth it,” Jones said. “We did well.”
Before beginning an Eagle Project a Boy Scout must get to the rank of Life Scout. He does this by achieving several badges.
Once a Boy Scout achieves his Life Scout and decides to go on to Eagle he must find a project that benefits the community and one that will highlight a leadership role.
Jones had to lead over 50 people of all ages that showed up to help him. It is sometimes difficult to be the authority figure when those being lead are the same age.
“It wasn’t really tough. It wasn’t [difficult] to keep everyone on task,” he said.
That may say more of the leader than those that were lead. Jones seemed to be able to keep everyone working and having fun.
Now that the work has been completed, Jones created a project book that includes photos. The book will go to the board of review.
“Without the [workers/volunteers] I could not have done this,” he said.
Jones especially wanted to thank Spencer Walch who was his mentor throughout the project.
“It feels good,” he said as he reviewed all the work that had been done. “It looks really nice.”