GLENSHIRE, Calif. - On Sunday, Sept. 9, Ben Ketron, a Boy Scout with Truckee's Troop 267, supervised 44 Boy Scout and community volunteers, ranging in age from 11 to 78, in the construction of a 60-foot boardwalk on the northeast side of the Glenshire Lake Trail.
The boardwalk is Ben's Eagle Scout Service project, a required part of achieving Eagle Scout status, the highest designation awarded by the Boy Scouts of America. As an Eagle Scout candidate, Ben was responsible for all aspects of planning, design, coordination and supervision of the Service Project.
Ben decided on the boardwalk project after an initial meeting with Dan Warren, general manager of the Glenshire/Devonshire Resident's Association (GDRA), in July of 2011. According to Ben, "Parts of the walking path around the Glenshire Lake get very muddy. Walkers, runners, and other trail users are forced to walk in the surrounding wildlife areas. This project gives trail users year-round access and decreases the amount of harm done to the environment."
Dan Warren observed: "GDRA has worked with many Scouts on their Eagle Projects; Ben's was by far one of the most ambitious. Ben was very diligent in his approach to designing the walkway and seeing the project through. I have nothing but positives to say about Ben and what he accomplished."
Ben received design and permitting advice from Dan Warren, John Svahn of the Truckee Donner Land Trust, Dave Tranquilla Construction, and the Town of Truckee Building Department. With this input, Ben completed all the drawings for the project himself. Once his construction drawings were complete, Ben was able to secure all five OK's, required for the building permit to be granted, in a single day - something of a permitting tour de force! The project building permit involved five different agencies: Town of Truckee Building Department, Nevada County Environmental Health Department, Truckee Donner PUD, Truckee Fire Protection District, and Truckee Sanitary District.
Building the walkway presented its own set of challenges. "The first challenge was to keep people on task," said Ben. "I divided everyone into teams and assigned tasks by age and skill level. This helped to keep everyone focused."
An unexpected challenge was encountered during hand excavation. "The sod was very dense. There was a thick root mat. The digging took a lot longer than we expected," said Ben. Due to the slow excavation, two more days of work were required to complete the walkway and side rails.
Many local businesses and individuals stepped up with generous donations of money, material, or equipment. Donations came from: Tahoe City Lumber Company, Glenshire/Devonshire Resident's Association, Truckee Rotary, Truckee Optimists, The Rock Garden, Prosser Building and Development, the Truckee Tahoe Airport, the Churich Family of Truckee, and the Nevada Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Ben is very grateful for all the help he received for this project. "This is a very generous community. That's one of the most important things I learned from this project. I also learned that it is important to just talk to people and ask for help. You won't get help if you don't ask." Ben also expressed his gratitude for the guidance and mentoring he received from Assistant Scout Master John Andrews: "John was with me throughout this whole process."
The Eagle Scout Service Project serves to hone leadership, management and citizenship skills. The project must benefit a religious institution, school, or the Scout's community, and as such is part of fulfilling the Scout oath "to help other people at all times." Boy Scout Troop 267 has an exceptionally high number of Eagle Scouts: 38 percent of Troop 267 Scouts attain Eagle status, compared to a national average of about 4 percent. Anyone interested in Truckee Boy Scout activities should contact Troop 267 Scout Master Kevin Bumen at 530-587-7940.