I never really liked working with wood or doing larger construction projects. I had plenty of opportunities to learn such as when I went to summer camp, but I just never took advantage of those opportunities to learn those skills. So when I began to think about an Eagle Scout Project, I knew I wanted to try something new while giving back to my community. So I went to Battle Creek Nature Center to see if they had any projects that I could complete for them. That’s when the opportunity to make a platform at the overlook caught my attention. It was the perfect way to help Battle Creek Nature Center while working on my construction skills.
I had to create a timeline that was easy to follow while my volunteers and I assembled the platform. So I created a very easy to follow timeline, which made the process seem like we had accomplished a lot every day and had a visible difference from when we first started. I assembled my volunteer team by contacting Scouts and adults who had some type of experience building a large structure and were up to the challenge. Then I had to split up the tasks. For more difficult tasks, the adults helped while the Scouts completed the simpler and more tedious tasks.
I found the most difficult aspect of this project was setting the frame for the platform. We probably spent 10 hours total on digging holes, measuring, and placing the posts to set the frame right. It was very complicated because we were working on a slope in a confined space due to large trees, so we had to get it just right for the overlook to be set how the beneficiary wanted it. In the end, though, we got the frame set, and it went smoothly after this point.
My favorite aspect of this project was its location. The location was on a nearby cliff that overlooks Battle Creek with a fantastic view. We were fortunate with the weather. With the combination of the pleasant weather and the view from the overlook, it was always the right place to be and relax when work was done or during breaks. I hope that this overlook gets a lot of use out of its years and provides day hikers with an amazing view of the creek.
After completing this project, I learned that planning is essential when it comes to tackling massive projects. Something will always go wrong, but with proper planning and anticipation, these obstacles can be dealt with quickly so work can continue. Planning also helped me know exactly what needed to be done, so I did not waste time figuring out how to do a task on site. This project taught me that leadership is essential for your workers and yourself. It helps to keep your workers organized and on task while also keeping yourself organized.