Scout builds picnic tables for Gilberts Elementary
By Denise Moran For The Courier-News August 5, 2012 4:00PM
Troop 22 Scout Matt Weber, 18, of Hampshire constructed five picnic tables for Gilberts Elementary School in order to earn his Eagle Scout Award. | Denise Moran photo
Updated: September 7, 2012 6:08AM
GILBERTS — Troop 22 Scout Matt Weber, 18, of Hampshire constructed five picnic tables for Gilberts Elementary School in order to earn his Eagle Scout Award.
“There are two tables for the preschool playground and three tables for the elementary school playground,” Weber said. “The tables are made of treated wood. They are 6 feet long and 5 feet wide. I spent 35 to 40 hours researching the best plan for making them. Along with other scouts from my troop, we spent over seven hours in July building the tables at my home. We used my neighbor’s truck to make two trips to deliver the tables to the school.”
Everything for the tables was donated. Weber said Lowe’s Home Improvement in DeKalb and Edward Hines Lumber Company in Hampshire supplied the wood. Home Depot in Algonquin supplied the paint and hardware. GBC Scientific Equipment in Hampshire gave a check for $50 toward buying other materials.
Before Weber could begin the project, it had to be approved by Troop 22 Scoutmaster Robert Becker and the troop council. Weber also sought approval from former Gilberts Elementary School Principal Jeff King, who has since become the principal of Country Trails Elementary School in Elgin. Craig Zieleniewski is the new principal of Gilberts Elementary.
Now that his project has been completed, Weber will wait to hear from the council when he will receive the award of Eagle Scout.
“I learned a lot in scouting that I will use all of my life,” Weber said. “I’m glad I stayed in scouting.”
Weber graduated from Hampshire High School this year and plans to attend Elgin Community College. He may later transfer to the University of North Carolina at Asheville and major in marketing.
Weber’s brother, John Paul, became an Eagle Scout in 2010. He built the roof for the baseball shed in Seyller Park in Hampshire and repainted the building.
The brothers’ father, John, was an assistant scoutmaster for Troop 22 and once served as the scout leader for Hampshire Pack 22.
Laurie Goetz, attendance secretary at Gilberts Elementary, said she was thrilled to hear about the Eagle Scout project. Her brother, Jack Reitz of Jacksonville, Fla., once earned the Eagle Scout Award.
“It’s so exciting to see students giving back to the community,” Goetz said. “Matt should be proud of what he did. The tables are a good resting place for the kids if they get tired or overheated.”
The teachers, students and staff at Gilberts Elementary will not be the only ones who will use the new picnic tables. Goetz said the school building and grounds are used by the Gilberts Grizzlies Youth Football and Cheer Association and by Fellowship Life Bible Church.