As you enter the front school yard at Our Mother of Consolation Parish School, you will notice a few things. First, the yard is ready for the school’s littlest students, with a train set, tiny picnic tables, and plenty of places to play. New among these play areas is a custom sand table, created by OMC parishioner and Scout Nick Moeller, who is completing the requirements for his Eagle Scout rank. Second, you will notice a beautiful garden surrounding a statue of Mary, Our Mother of Consolation. This is also the handiwork of Nick and a team of volunteers. The statue was placed in the yard in 2015, but needed more landscaping and beauty to elevate the beauty of the statue.
Nick, a longtime parishioner of OMC, wanted to create an Eagle Scout project that both showcased his skills as a Scout, but also allowed him to serve his community. When he approached Fr. Bob Bazzoli, the idea quickly took shape. As part of the school’s capital campaign in 2013, OMC stated that improving the outdoor play and learning space was a goal for all of its students. In September of 2014, small tables and a train play yard were installed, and were an instant success for students and parishioners. However, there was room for improvement. Nick’s proposal brought the two goals together.
Beginning in November of 2015, Nick met with then-school principal Mr. Bruce Hagy, PreK teachers Mrs. Michele Snyder and Mrs. Kat Dumenigo, and set the scope of the project.
There were several stages of the project once the concept was approved by OMC and by the Boy Scouts’ District Representative. Nick had to plan the garden – what plants worked best in the sunlight in that part of the yard, how would the garden be maintained, what flowers and plants were available either by donation or discount? For the sand table, the size and number of students would dictate the dimensions of the table. It is a permanent structure, and must meet the needs and curiosity of 3-and 4-year olds. Measuring the students to determine the perfect average height was one of the most fun parts of the project. The last piece – having the students place their handprints on the outside of the table – will be completed in the fall.
The most difficult part of the project, according to Nick, was coordinating volunteers for the construction day. With 2 concurrent projects – the garden and the table – he had to make sure that he had enough volunteers to complete the work on schedule without having project members standing around waiting for the next activity. Nick admits that managing the volunteers was a challenge. Fortunately, he had more than enough help, from Mr. and Mrs. Robert Pollock (who donated plants) to Mrs. Madden (who advised on garden design), to fellow Scouts and others who gave time and talents to both create the garden and build and anchor the table.
As you can see from the attached pictures, the project was a success. Nick credits his parents and Scout troops over the years, who have given him the opportunities to realize his goal of becoming an Eagle Scout. Companies like Primex, Home Depot and ACME also stepped up to offer discounts and supplies for the project.
We at OMC thank Nick for his hard work that will benefit our students – we can’t wait to see the children use what your talents have created!