TRUCKEE, Calif. — In early September, Joe Ketron, a Boy Scout with Truckee’s Troop 267, supervised 48 Boy Scout and community volunteers, ranging in age from 11 to 79, in the construction of a 90-foot-long sloped pathway on the west side of the Glenshire Lake trail.
The pathway is Joe’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, Joe was responsible for all aspects of planning, design, coordination and supervision of the Service Project.
Joe decided on his pathway project after an initial meeting with Dan Warren, general manager of the Glenshire/Devonshire Resident’s Association, in January.
“The single track trail leading off of the south end of the dam was very steep and narrow. Walkers, runners, and other trail users would take their chances traveling the steep trail or would be forced to walk in the surrounding wild life areas,” Joe said. “This project gives trail users a 6-foot-wide gently sloped path from the bottom of the dam to the top.”
Joe received design advice from Warren as well as Kevin Starr of the Truckee Donner Land Trust. With this input, Joe completed the drawings and the proposal package for the project. Once this paperwork was complete, Joe was able to secure permission to build the project from the Boy Scouts of America Nevada Area Council.
“The GDRA Board of Directors really appreciate the support from the local Boy Scouts and especially those tremendous projects, like Joe’s, that help better the neighborhood around Glenshire,” Warren said.
Building the pathway presented its own set of challenges.
“The first step was to make the initial cut for the ramp, a job which was way too large for a team of Boy Scouts armed with picks and shovels,” Joe said. “I introduced myself to local contractor, Ed Patient, who owns a backhoe, and asked for his help.”
Joe learned that Ed is an Eagle Scout himself and was very happy to help out.
“The second challenge was to keep people on task during the path construction day,” Joe said. “I divided everyone into teams and assigned jobs by skill level. This helped to keep everyone busy.”
Many local businesses and individuals stepped up with generous donations of money, material, equipment and time. Donations came from: Edward K. Patient, general contractor; Al Pombo Inc.; Truckee Optimists; Truckee Rotary; Truckee Rents; Tahoe City Lumber Company; The Rock Garden, GDRA; Truckee Tahoe Airport; and the Ruttenburg family.
Joe said he is very grateful for all the help he received for this project.
“I learned that it is important to just meet with people and ask for help,” he said. “You won’t get help if you don’t ask.”
The Eagle Scout Service Project serves to hone leadership and citizenship skills. The project must benefit a religious institution, a 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 Troup 267 has an exceptionally high number of Eagle Scouts: 38 percent of Troup 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.