Area residents grabbing an ice cream cone or other treat at Memorial Park this summer were sure to notice the recently refurbished snack bar, located in one of the park pavilions.
Billy Gushue, 14, of Jim Thorpe, a member of Boy Scout Troop 555, helped to revitalize the snack stand at Memorial Park for his Eagle Scout Project.
"Originally I was planning on doing something for my church but my Scoutmaster, Ray Attewell, came to me with a suggestion to do the snack stand," said Gushue, a ninth-grade student at Jim Thorpe Area High School.
The project, said Gushue, which totaled 114 hours of manual labor over the course of two weekends and costing $328, was a project that benefits the people of Jim Thorpe area.
"The snack stand had been closed down for four or five years and had been a storage space," said Gushue. When the a new roof was put on a few years ago, there was a 10-inch gap that separated the roof from the walls.
Gushue had his work cut out for him.
The space had to be cleaned out and all the storage had to be moved elsewhere. The gap had to be closed and Gushue and his fellow Scouts had to do extensive plumbing and electrical work to get the place running back to normal.
"We had to repaint because of graffiti," Gushue recalled.
Helping him complete the project were his uncle, Scott Barshied, and his grandfather, Bill Gushue, along with the other Scouts in his troop and his Scout leaders. Several of the Scout's fathers helped as well.
Funds for the project were supplied by Memorial Park, through the director of marketing and management, Linda Carlson, and raised by Gushue himself.
Gushue, who has been a Scout since the age of 6, says that one of the best parts of Scouting is being with other people and meeting new people at camps.
"It's a lot of fun when you become an Eagle Scout. You feel like 'I just accomplished something. I did it for myself and no one else.'"
Gushue said he has learned a lot from Scouting, including camping, swimming, the 12 words to live by, and how to work with people to become a better leader.
When asked if he would recommend Scouting to others boys, Gushue had a positive response.
"I accomplished something and it improved my life. I am part of a group, something that I fit into," he answered, suggesting that others will feel the same.
Gushue is the grandson of Bill and Diane Gushue of Jim Thorpe, and the son of Bethann Sheckler, also of Jim Thorpe. After he graduates from high school, he plans on attending Villanova University to study for a degree in mechanical engineering.
An Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony for Gushue will be held on Sunday, Sept. 20 at Blue Mountain Ski Area.