Troy Hansen decided to build a bocce ball court for his Eagle Scout project, and the endeavor was nearly complete the weekend before Thanksgiving—just a few minor touchups, and the Nanuet Outdoor Education Center will boast an 80’ by 15’ bocce ball court.
“I really didn’t know about the game at all; I had never even heard of it,” Hansen said. “But I actually learned a lot from it [the project]. It’s kind of like horseshoes in a way. I thought it was kind of cool.”
In his search to find a project, Hansen asked his school superintendent if the school district needed anything done. He said the superintendent mentioned a bocce ball court; Hansen agreed to build the court and began planning the project, going back and forth with a troop mentor to iron out the logistics.
“First I had to make a write-up for the project through the scouts, because in order to go through the process of an Eagle project, you have to make a write-up of it,” he said. “You have to have a budget, pictures of where it’s going to be, and description of where it’s going to be, and what it is.”
A committee board, composed of adults in the troop, had to approve of the write-up. After that, the write-up went to an Eagle Board council; if they approved, Hansen would be allowed to fundraise and begin the project. Hansen said the entire approval process took about four months to complete.
Once the preparatory phase was complete, Hansen began fundraising, recruiting help from inside and outside his troop, and constructing the court.
“Tilcon donated about 30 tons of stone dust,” he said. “Under the clay is stone dust, and we had to spread that out, level it, and then tamp it with a tamper. Then put the clay on top.”
Scouts from Hansen’s troop 33 aided him, as did some of his classmates. Much of the time was spent bringing stone dust and clay over to the spot from the parking lot.
“I had some friends come by to help me,” he said. “They actually say if you have kids from outside the scouts to come and help you, it looks better. It shows that you’re a leader outside of scouts. That’s a thing they really stress.”
Hansen said it took four workdays to build the court.
“It took a decent amount of time,” he said. “It went quicker than I thought. When we were doing the clay a couple of weeks ago, we were done in four hours. I thought it would take two work days.”
Hansen, his father, his grandfather, his uncle and his cousin were putting the finishing touches on the court Saturday. After the project is complete, the school will be in charge of maintaining the bocce ball court, according to Hansen.
“I want to see it stay in the same shape it will be in,” he said. “I honestly hope that. All I really hope is that it stays the way it is, looks nice, and also people just come by and enjoy it.”