The carriage house in Kemmerer Park in Jim Thorpe has been getting a face lift, thanks in part to Boy Scout Adam Dachowicz of Troop 555, Penn Forest Township.
As a project to help him become an Eagle Scout, the 16-year-old from Jim Thorpe choose to help out the many volunteers involved with the renovation. Scoutmaster Ray Attewell brought the ongoing renovation project to his attention.
The Kemmerer Park Association owns the park property and the Borough of Jim Thorpe leases it and is active along with the Mauch Chunk Museum and the Mauch Chunk Historical Society in undertaking the job of securing, stabilizing and renovating the building
"I thought it would be an interesting project because it directly affected the community I live in," said Adam, whose project consisted of replacing the floor of the 130-year-old building.
Originally, he had planned to replace the dirt floor with concrete, but found it to be more logistically sound to use wood instead. The original dirt floor had to be dug 24 inches deep by hand. Contractor George Colaviti assisted with the hanging of the wood joists and the laying of plywood floor.
The project totaled 99 hours, 21 of which were Adam's personal hours. He began in August of 2008 and completed the project in November of that year.
Funds for the project were raised from proceeds of the Mauch Chunk Historical Society Fall Ball and the Scout troop's normal fundraising. The total cost of the project was $1,059.90.
Adam, Colaviti, historical society volunteers, John Drury of the Mauch Chunk Museum, Scouts from Troop 555, and even some of Adam's non-Scouting friends, put in the effort to get the project done as quickly and skillfully as possible.
Adam, a junior at Jim Thorpe, has been in the Scouting program since he became a Cub Scout at the age of 6. At the age of 10 he became a Boy Scout and has been working his way through the ranks to finally achieve the ultimate rank of Eagle Scout.
"Becoming an Eagle Scout requires a lot of leadership skills," said Adam. "You have to be elected to a position of leadership by your fellow Scouts."
He was elected Senior Patrol Leader, which as he puts it, "is similar to the rank of president."
Along with leadership skills, Adam says he also learned many life skills from Scouting. In addition to survival skills, such as swimming, hiking, camping, wildness survival and first aid, he also learned important skills such as organization, how to create a proposal and present it to the Boy Scout Council for approval, and has even learned some carpeting skills.
When asked if he would recommend joining the Scouts to other boys Adam said, "Go for it. A lot of people talk badly about Scouting; they might even says its dorky, but its not what people think. I met a lot of great friends and had a lot of fantastic experiences."
Adam plans to go to college for engineering, though he is not yet sure what school he will attend.
An Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony will be held on Oct. 24 at Christ Lutheran Church in Penn Forest Township, where Adam and two other Scouts from Troop 555, will officially become Eagle Scouts.