A beautiful brick walkway will spruce up any property – a house, business, athletic facility or a national attraction. Rory Thorne earned his Eagle Scout award by building a brick walkway at the International Soap Box Derby.
Thorne, a senior at Green High School, explained how the project idea came about.
"My sister (Briley) competed at the Soap Box Derby," said Thorne, the son of Ron and Doreen. "When I went to watch her, I noticed that for some people, including the disabled, it was difficult to get to the entrance. That is when I decided to build the walkway. The soap box derby has two separate parking lots. The walkway is in between the two parking lots. This project will help the whole community."
Thorne’s project was not as easy as it sounds. He explained the steps involved in building the walking way.
"The project lasted about three months, "said Thorne, who participates in marching and symphonic bands. In his spare time he enjoys playing video games, reading Rick Riodan books and camping. "The project started in late May and went through late July. I had 12 to 15 people working every other day for two hours and at the end had a couple of eight hour days.
"The project entailed digging out the area for the bricks. Then I had to measure the area. The walkway is six feet by 84 feet. I then contacted different brick companies to see how many bricks I would need, which was approximately 1,700. I also needed 12, five pound bags of mortar and a 12 foot drainage pipe that goes under the walkway. Once the project was completed, we bought some sand and eight, five pound bags of mulch to spruce it up."
The project cost $600 to complete. The Boy Scouts does not provide funding for these projects. Thorne went to various soap box derby events and asked for donations to raise the money to pay for the project. He explained what this experience taught him, including some sweat.
"I had to call different places to get estimates for the supplies," said Thorne, who is undecided on what college he will attend. He is looking at studying history and biology. "Ultimately, I purchased the bricks at Lowes. Once I ordered the bricks, I arranged for delivery. Then while some people were doing work at the bottom of the hill, I was loading bricks at the top of the hill and taking them down the hill. That was heavy work. The most frustrating part of the project is sometimes people did not listen or help as much. Once the bricks were laid, we swept sand over them.
"When this project was finished, and I was able to sit back and look at what I had accomplished, I felt proud, very happy," added Thorne. "It was a different feeling to look back at a completed project, which I had done before."
Like many scouts, Thorne became involved at an early age. In fact, he was a founding member of his troop.
"In first grade, I went to an assembly with all boys in the lunch room," said Thorne. "The guy talking said you could learn to shoot a gun. That is the reason I joined the cub scouts. The reality is I only shot a gun once. … when our troop first founded, most of us did not talk to each other. It took three or four years for us to connect. Now, they are my best friends."
Thorne attended a leadership conference through Boy Scouts. That conference taught him a strategy called EDGE (explore, demonstrate, guide and enable). "This process for leaders is to explain how to do something, demonstrate the task, guide the person how to complete the task then enable them to do on own."
Thorne said he would recommend the scouts to any young boy. He said the scouts teaches a good set of morals, you have a good time and meet good friends.
"The scouts is a unique kind of experience," he said.