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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Operation Sandy Kids

Monday, July 27, 2009

Eagle Scout Hunter Heidesch is pictured next to his Eagle Scout project of a sandbox that is elevated off the ground so even children in wheel chairs can come and play while at the MMC Elementary School. Photo contributed
As some of my fellow community members have surmised from my constant presence at pancake breakfasts throughout the years, I belong to the Greater Marcus Area Troop of the Boy Scouts of America.

Because of my commitment to the scouts I have been moving up through the ranks on my way to becoming an Eagle Scout. To receive Eagle rank is a monumental achievement. To become an Eagle a scout must complete many merit badges, both required (14), and elective (7), and they must also do a project of their choosing to help out a community organization before they turn 18. This year was my final chance to get everything done because I turned 18 at the end of May.

For my project I had been asking around for some time looking for one that would meet the BSA requirements. I heard through Kathy Tritz-Rhodes that the elementary school was in need of a sand box. This sounded like the perfect answer. Through meetings with Kathy, I learned what the school was looking for.

They wanted a table that would be elevated off of the ground so that even children in wheel chairs could enjoy the sand. To accomplish this we talked to David Pearson at Marcus Lumber. He helped us draw up the plans and explained how to construct and assemble the table. When the time came to assemble the table the rest of the troop and I went and gathered the materials and assembled it in my yard. Constructing the table in plain sight of the road was a good source of comic relief.

It's a good way to get a chuckle to watch people drive by and slow down to watch and wonder "what the heck are all those kids building?" After the table had been constructed, we loaded it into a truck and hauled it to the elementary school playground where it would be attached to six posts that we needed to sink into the ground.

This was the first time running a post hole digger for most of the scouts who came to help me out, and the looks of overwhelming joy on their faces when it was their turn was priceless. The sand for the table was generously provided by Hallet Materials. The table was completed just before school was let out for summer break, so the kids were able to use it for awhile.

I would like to thank some of the many people who helped with this project. First, Troop 113 and its leaders for all their help and support through the years.

Next the Cherokee County Legacy Foundation for their generous grant to cover the cost of materials. It would have been much harder for me to have had to raise the funding another way but I know the people of Marcus would definitely have stepped up to the plate to help out, in fact many of you donated at the last pancake breakfast for it.

Thanks also to Connie Ebert of Ebert Construction for use of his tools and expertise in planning. Kathy Tritz-Rhodes for the idea, Dave Pearson for his knowledge and guidance and all of you who donated to the project.

Now I just wait until the District Council sets my Eagle Board of Review. Once I pass that they will notify me that I will have achieved the rank of Eagle.

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