Saturday, September 3, 2011

Great Bench Building Eagle Project

Two years ago my then 13-year-old son got approval for his Eagle project. Behind our elementary school we had a bunch of dirt. Some parents got together and decided to make that area useful by turning it into a learning garden where they could plant different types of plants to teach the kids about different growing zones of the country. Another young man took the planning of the garden and its initial creation on as his Eagle project. He then named the garden area after his older sister who'd passed away at age 12.

The garden has grown and has some really cool features like the peace pole and a shade area and unique paths. The kids work in it during the fall and spring (when it isn't too cold). It's a great place to sit and watch birds and insects, except there was nowhere to sit. Until now. My son's Eagle project has been to build benches for the learning garden so the kids can observe nature and write in their journals.

The original plan was to build these benches two years ago but then my oldest son decided to get married and that threw all of us into a tailspin as we planned (and I sewed) for the wedding and reception. Then it was too cold to work on the benches so we hoped to complete them last summer.

As part of the project, my son had to solicit a donation to pay for the supplies. He wrote a letter and then patiently waited for a reply. The reply didn't come and didn't come and we discovered that the company had never received his request. So he had to wait again to go through the process and when the approval came through, it was too cold to build and polyurethane the benches.

This summer he finally had the funds and we had no wedding to plan. So we embarked on the Great Bench Building Project of 2011. It has taken us all summer to get them built between all the summer camps, trips to Utah, and family visits. We've been polyurethaning them for the last three weeks. My son has had to organize and supervise building and then polyurethaning parties and it's taken so long because while we've had an extremely dry summer, every time, and I mean every time, we've pulled the benches out to polyurethane them, it's rained.

I guess we don't need an Indian Rain Dance we just need to try to finish an Eagle project to get it to rain in our area. And not sprinkles. No, we've had downpours. And we've had to rush outside and haul the benches inside the garage and stack them up to keep them out of the rain.

But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We only need one more coat of polyurethane. And what is that I hear outside? Oh, yeah, it's thunder . . . .

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