October 12, 2014, 9:00 AM, Alex Ostrega, his parents, the parents and scouts of BSA Troop 586 of Redondo Beach, started arriving at the SCLS compound to start the construction of our new caboose picnic area. The old picnic area was kind of thrown together many years ago and was looking kind of shabby. Alex volunteered to build a new picnic area as part of his Eagle Scout community service project.
A few months prior to the 12th we had discussed various options and let Alex know what we were trying to accomplish and he took the ball and ran with it. Alex with a little guidance from his dad moved forward with the project after gaining approval from the scouting council. He then started putting together a list of requirements for materials, equipment, workers and the funds to make it all happen.
Alex was able to capture the interest of Orchard Supply company and was able to obtain a donation of a large number of new paving stones to add to the size of the picnic area. Lee Altenes of Orchard Supply even came down and helped with the project.
The first phase of the project was to lift up all of the old paving stones and stack them off to the side in 2 piles, as there were 2 sizes. There were many stones to pick up and everyone got into the act and made a quick job of it.
Phase 2 was then to start shoveling out the area to level it. They was quite difficult as the base is a hard pack adobe type material and was riddled with roots from various plants. It took pretty much the entire day to dig out and level the area while removing some large roots with the aid of a chain and pickup truck.
The following day the area was leveled and the fence post holes were dug and posts installed. The earth was compacted using a gasoline powered compacting machine and sand was spread on top as a base for the new paving stones. The paving project was started using the new stones from Orchard. These larger stones would make up the center of the picnic area and the older gray stones would fill out the perimeter of the area up to the fence line. Darkness put an end to that days work and we agreed to meet again the following Sunday the 20th to complete the project.
On Sunday October 20th more scouts, parents and leaders converged to finish the project. It was a team effort with scouts leveling the sand and installing the paving stones. Once all of the stones were installed the edging was put in to hold the stones in place. Sand was then swept onto the surface and into all of the grooves, cracks and joints. The compactor was them run over the entire surface to vibrate the sand into the joints to hold everything tightly in place. The excess sand was swept away and the surface was sprayed with water to help set the sand in place and wash away the excess.
The sun was going down but that did not dampen the resolve of this crew, they pushed on and installed all of the fencing to finish up the project under the light of the caboose and some flashlights. Overall it was a job well done and looks fantastic. Thank you Alex, thanks to your mom and dad for their support, thanks to your scout leaders and the scouts and parents from troop 586 for your generous support. You can all be proud of a job well done!