Eagle Scout builds patio for church

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  • Noah Rodums built the patio at Echo Lake Baptist Church for his Eagle Scout project.


Noah Rodums, of Boy Scout Troop 114, achieved Eagle Scout rank this past May by demonstrating increased responsibility and complexity in community service projects.

When the time came to choose an Eagle Scout project, Noah thought of his church.

"I decided I wanted my project to be dedicated to Echo Lake Baptist Church. The church community, as a whole, had always been very friendly and supportive, which was why I wanted to give back to them," said Noah, who is a member of the congregation.

He spoke with church trustee Mark Lynch who wanted to know if Noah could build a patio for the church.

"The rest is history," Noah said.

Noah consulted with Pastor Brian Jensen as well and offered to transform an overgrown outdoor area by constructing a patio with a wall that provided seating.

Project planning started in July of 2015, with phone calls to coordinate the project and materials. Noah's team used a spreadsheet, which detailed tasks to be completed at different stages and areas of responsibility, to help the team stay on task for the duration of the project. Noah's younger brother, Jared, kept track of the volunteers' hours and the information was used in the final Eagle Scout project report and by other Scouts toward their own advancement.

What was the most difficult part of the project?

"The project itself wasn't hard; it was finding the time to work on it that became a challenge," said Noah. "I completed the project in the fall of my junior year in high school, so at the time, I was trying to juggle soccer, homework, and the progression of the project. However, with the help of a set schedule, getting things done became a lot easier."

To start the project, Noah, his father Andre, and several other Scouts cleared a 17’ by 15’ area between the church and Fellowship Hall. John Graf assisted the team with his excavator, and team members used shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows borrowed from fellow Scouts and neighbors. Professionals were called in to reroute and replace an older gas line to meet current safety guidelines. Progress continued as the team hand-excavated the area, put down QP and stone dust and then leveled, compacted and pitched the area to make sure the patio would drain properly after rain and snow.

A seating wall was constructed using stone blocks and an end pillar was built at the far corner of the patio as a focal point. Blocks for both the seating wall and the pillar were donated by Lynch Landscaping.

After this, an area behind it was cleared, extra topsoil added, weed mat installed and mulch added, all to provide an area for future plantings. Belgian block was set in a bed of hand-mixed concrete and installed about the adjacent side of the seating wall as a border and retainer.

After the perimeter of the patio was complete, pavers were laid out in an intricate pattern. A specially curved border was laid around the pavers and polymeric sand swept between them. These materials were provided at a discounted price by Braen Supply.

The patio was leveled one last time and, after 280 hours of work, the project was completed on Dec. 5, 2015. Noah asked to have his ceremony deferred to this year so he and his long-time friend and fellow Scout, Lucas Graf, could go through the ceremony at the same time.

Much thanksNoah thanks Pastor Brian Jensen and Scoutmaster Jeff Hanson for their guidance on this project; Judy Skeens, Matt Wallasky and Mark Lynch for assisting in construction and John Graf for using his excavator.

Additional thanks go to the members of Echo Lake Baptist Church and families for their donations and patience throughout the duration of the project. He’d also like to acknowledge all of the Scouts, leaders and friends for their help and finally, he offers many thanks to his mother Sharon, father Andre, sister Hannah and brother Jared for their contributions, ranging from planning and working on the project to making lunch for all of those on site.

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Jeanne E. Hulst
  • Nov 17, 2017


West Milford, NJ