SEQUIM — Boy Scout Ian Thill from Troop 1498 has his Eagle Scout project underway.
The Sequim resident is working to earn the top rank in Scouting, which requires in part to perform a significant community service project to better the area around them.
Thill’s choice for his project? Renovating the storage shed at Pioneer Memorial Park, which one park volunteer said was “in dire need” of some attention — starting with the same roof it was built with more than 30 years ago, when it served as the pump house when the park was on the irrigation system.
“My mom works for the park and she heard about the need to fix the shed,” Thill said. “It just made sense for me to make that my project once I found out.”
This is the third Eagle Scout project at the park in the last year and a half.
The park’s pagoda was rebuilt by Matt Willis in April 2018, and a stump was removed and replaced by a circular flowerbed by Jakob Pyeatt this past May, according to park director Arlene Sawyer.
“We’ve been very glad to have Eagle Scout candidates serve as partners with the park,” Sawyer said. “They’ve been very helpful for the park, working with the park and our board to find projects that fit what we need at that time.”
With several friends at his side — a pair of Eagle Scouts in Dylan Washburn and Hunter Davidson, plus two non-scouting friends in Sergio Yanez and Joshua Lamb — Thill got his project underway on Aug. 13 by taking the roof off the shed.
“A lot of the roofing material is barely attached anymore, and most of the support beams are rotting,” Thill noted as they worked on it.
A park volunteer oversaw the process and gave advice as needed, but the physical work was left to the group of teenagers.
Thill said he would have utilized the services of some of the younger members of his troop at this stage of the project, but that Boy Scout regulations made that tricky.
“If I were using Scouts for this,” Thill said, “we’d have to have a ton of safety equipment and procedures, and I’d spend more time making sure they’re safe than actually working myself.”
With just Thill and his friends, the roof was removed within two hours.
Removing the roof was just the first step, though. Thill and his friends will be installing a new roof soon, and installing a new natural stone bench nearby.
Once that’s done, it’s time to turn the younger scouts loose.
“I’m going to hand them all rollers, put out the paint, and tell them to go nuts,” Thill said, laughing. “Once they’re done, I’ll go in and make sure nothing needs to be fixed.”
Conor Dowley is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].