When an opportunity to offer craftsmanship and manual labor for nonprofit organizations or people in need presents itself, GLY employees are always eager to help. This was precisely the case when Chase Barton, son of GLY Superintendent Bryan Barton, reached out to the company for help with his Boy Scouts of America [BSA] Eagle Scout service project.
It isn’t easy to achieve Eagle Scout status. It's the BSA's highest rank, represented by only 5% of its total participants, and granted following a lengthy review process.1 Among the many requirements a Scout must complete before turning 18 is a finale of sorts to the entire program: planning, managing, and executing a community service project. Most Scouts aim to complete it by age 17, but Chase, an ambitious young man who has a go-big-or-go-home mentality, took on the challenge at age 15.
He didn’t think twice about who he wanted his service project to benefit. He learned about L'Arche Tahoma Hope Farm & Gardens during a 7th grade field trip and thought about its mission ever since. The organization supports people with developmental disabilities by creating a safe community and giving people—developmentally disabled or not—a place to have purpose, goals and friendships through meaningful farm and garden work.
He started tackling his project in March by asking Program Coordinator Patrick Toohey, “What would you like help with if money wasn’t an issue?” Patrick didn’t hesitate in his response. He would love for Greg, a gentleman with autism, to have a new covered structure to sift soils—his main duty at the farm.
Greg sifts soils for the farm’s greenhouses in an open structure at the very back of the farm. While he loves his job, Greg has a long trek to move the soil. More importantly, he enjoys being around other people and the back of the farm isn't the best place to socialize with others. Was there a way to centralize the structure and provide more space and coverage, Patrick wondered? Chase promised to make it happen and dove into the planning process.
His first task: figure out the necessary supplies, equipment, and manpower. Chase’s father Bryan suggested a few ways to make the structure even stronger, ensuring it would last as long as possible. Chase estimated the project cost at $3,600 plus tools and labor. Enter: GLY.
Chase approached GLY President Ted Herb for assistance. At just 15 years old this was undoubtedly an intimidating task, but Chase’s enthusiasm and professionalism are impressive, and Ted and GLY were all in—donating $1,500 and lending the tools and machinery. Chase also approached a few other vendors for remaining expenses and several lumber companies for additional material donations. When Bryan’s GLY teammates heard about the project, they also volunteered time, labor, and a good attitude without hesitation.
After lots of coordination, Chase marked August 25–27 as official build days for the majority of the work to occur. His crew included his father, Bryan, as well as GLY's Jason Adams, Jesse Neil, Travis Michael, Mark Fuller, Dennis Sizemore, Nick Hersey, and Randall Edwards. Several Scouts, Scout Masters, family, and friends rounded out the team. Together they poured a 16’ x 16’ concrete slab in a centrally located portion of the farm and constructed a roof that extended four feet past the slab on each side. The original slab was 10’ x 10’.
The group didn’t stop there. Using extra funds for materials, they built two wheelchair accessible planting tables and repaired a deteriorated road sign.
GLY’s talented craftspeople work on projects small and large. Sometimes, the small projects that don’t bring home a paycheck are the most impactful. For everyone involved, putting a smile on Greg’s face and making his job a little easier and more enjoyable was priceless.
Chase had a great team helping him carry out his project, but the weight of it fell on his shoulders. Managing a construction project at 15 years old—from acquiring funds, to creating a team, and being the project manager—isn’t an easy feat. Witnessing a young man put so much effort into not only helping others, but using skills that our fellow coworkers are using today is inspiring. And for that, we salute you Chase!
I was more than willing to help Chase out with such a worthy cause. I've known his dad, Bryan, since 2008 and met Chase several times. I know how much effort he puts into Boy Scouts. In fact, Chase puts 110% effort into anything he does—not just Boy Scouts— and it shows in this project. He even put my daughter to work painting. Congratulations, Chase, on a well-executed plan and delivery.
| Travis Michael, Superintendent
With his community service project complete and all other requirements fulfilled, Chase is near the finish line in earning his Eagle Scout rank. His Board of Review is scheduled for December 11 and the ceremony is planned for January 2018. With several years left in his troop, he continues on as a Senior Patrol Leader, helping out younger Scouts. Congrats, Chase!